Not a party school

To avoid offending the easily offended, an Ohio elementary school won’t celebrate Halloween, Christmas or Valentine’s Day. Individual birthday celebrations are out too. Instead, Glendening Elementary will have one birthday party for everyone. Isn’t that special?

Principal William Sternberg said about 15 percent of the student population doesn’t participate in the parties because of personal beliefs. He said the teachers think the classroom gatherings take away valuable instructional time.

“Our teachers come together to make sure our test scores come up this year, and this is what they came up with,” Sternberg said.

Parties aligned with lessons — a Greek party for the classical Greece unit — will be allowed. So, no Cupid for Valentine’s Day but Eros is OK.

Via Scott Norvell.

About Joanne


  1. mike from oregon says:

    sarcasm mode on:

    The rest of the elementary schools in this town (and the state) are probably shaking in their colletive boots. Those extra 4 to 5 hours of instruction is just going to rocket those test scores into the stratosphere.

    sarcasm mode off:

    Let’s rob a bit more of their childhoods from these kids in the name of PC. Lets make them real glad that they come to school. Instead of a place that they like to go (they get to do things with their friends), no we’ve got to take a little of the fun in school – out of it.

    As O’Reilly would say, “…this is the most ridiculous item of the day.”

  2. Bluemount says:

    I don’t have a problem with a small celebrations that reflects various aspects of a study. This article mocks that concept by excluding the individual. The elimination of any assignment that encourages self-initiated abstract expression and actually discouraging all students from interjecting personal opinion is troubling too. This is a consistant trend in many schools around here.

  3. Ross the Heartless Conservative says:

    I would hate to be a school administrator. No matter what they do people complain. Those of you who think that a school party only takes an hour or so out of the school day have either never worked in a school where the parties take place or you are in a wealthy school where the parties are catered. Setting up for the parties, coordinating the food, and planning activities are not a trivial exercise. Add to that the excitement of the kids and their focus on the party instead of academics and you have the parties serving as a distraction for a good period of time. Of course, the parties have many benefits and I have no problem with schools having the holiday parties if they feel that is the best way to accomplish their educational mission. But I don’t understand the complaining about a deciding to do away with a nonacademic component in order to focus on academics.

  4. At the beginning of the school year here in Houston, HISD announced that they weren’t going to allow parents to take cupcakes or cookies to classrooms for kids’ birthdays anymore. Part of the argument might have been the “unhealthy” nature of the food, but it was mostly because some families just couldn’t afford cupcakes for 30 kids.

    I think it was all of a couple weeks before they backed down on it. Frankly, HISD has enough other problems that this shouldn’t even have been made an issue.

  5. So, they’re having toga parties in grade school now?

    Actually, I have to admit, I would have loved having “themed” parties when I was a kid. I probably wouldn’t have objected to the loss of Christmas, Hallowe’en, and Valentine’s parties if I had had a chance to dress up like an Ancient Greek or eat the kind of food they eat in Taiwan. (Knowing grade schools, though, it probably won’t be as wonderful as I imagine it would).

  6. mike from oregon says:

    Ross – while I see your point, there are tons of ways to control the potential problems that you brought up. One easy way that was used in one of my daughter’s classes (4th grade I believe) was to tell each parent at the beginning of the year that the parties (treats) would be limited, however to help out, ask (not demand) a contribution of $20 which would be pooled and spread to cover the cost of the parties. If the parents didn’t wish to contribute, no problem. The PTA also contributed a bit to the parties, but the budgets were very modest and kept very limited. I can think up several other methods to handle the problems you presented.

    As for your statement, “But I don’t understand the complaining about a deciding to do away with a nonacademic component in order to focus on academics.” Do you have children? Go back to when they were 6 – 10 years of age (or when you were). Come halloween, did the kids talk about the latest math assignments? Or was talk about ‘What are you going to be this year?’ Taking the party out of the classroom isn’t necessarily going to make the academics better. Let’s have the bloody party, allow the kids to get it out of their systems and THEN get back on task.

    Sorry, you’ll be hard pressed to find someone who isn’t more ‘get bang for your buck’ person than me; but I hate that the PC society continues to chip away at childhoods.

  7. “All have won! And all shall have prizes!”

    –The Dodo, Alice In Wonderland

  8. I’m not exactly sure of the relevance of that quote, now that I look back on it. But this made it come to mind for some reason.

  9. Tim from Texas says:

    Don’t know what the case is in other areas, but in my neck of the woods the anti-Halloween-and all that goes with it movement has been a religiously-correct movement, not p.c.. Halloween is a pagan celebration not to be tolerated say the pious.

    Any celebration/ritual that brings a community/neighborhood out together and brings people out of their slammed-shut-shudd-eh-uh-shuttered-fortified dwellings to do anything other than shopping is being gnawed away at an ever more rapid pace.

    Of course, all of it gnaws at and seeps into the social aspect of the schools,especially the grade schools.

    The Halloween-scare-frenzy-fiasco of some years ago was exactly that, a downright lie perpetrated by fearmongers and do-gooders, picked up by the media and carried forth by the media all resulting in scaring everyone. It all managed to shut down, for all practical purposes, the most enjoyable neighbor-social funtion the little ones could enjoy. I know my friends and I had enjoyed it.

    There was never a proven case of people poisoning tricks-or-treaters. Quite the contrary, the only situation proven was that there were a few parents out there poisoning their own children under the cover of Halloween.

    This country’s social/community/neighboorhood life is being gnawed away by fearmongers and do-gooders. It has become ridiculus.

    Adding to my short-tyraid, albeit off the thread just a small tad, I’m tired of having to use my chain saw to open packaging of all sorts ever since the Tylenol-poisoning-hysteria.

    I hope this country wakes up soon and stops being driven by fear and stops the shuddering.