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Nanny Nashua: Schools should lighten up

If Nashua's public schools continue to severely restrict pleasure in the name of safety, soon every school day could feel like a Tim Burton version of Halloween: gloomy, grey and depressing.

Nashua's school district discourages the enjoyment of Halloween inside school buildings. Only kindergarteners and first-graders are allowed to wear commercial costumes to school, and only "non-violent" costumes are permitted.

Among the perfectly innoncent boys' costumes that could be construed as "violent:" Soldier, police officer, hockey player, vampire, werewolf, Transformer, every superhero and every male Star Wars character (one can only imagine the number of bad guys Yoda killed over his 900 years of life).

Halloween parties with candy, cupcakes or other sweets? Frowned upon. Starting next year, non-nutritious foods will be prohibited. "The days of serving candy at Halloween parties at schools, I think, are long gone," Superintendent Mark Conrad told this newspaper.

Conrad explained the policies this way: "Times change for schools and communities change. (In) a community that's become as diverse as ours ... we seek to strike a balance and to respect different family values that may come into the classroom."

That is bureaucrat-speak for "we wouldn't want to risk offending a single person, so we're going to squash the creativity and individuality out of your kids while they're little."

In the name of "diversity," Nashua's schools are restricting the expression of individuality. It is almost Orwellian. It is definitely overkill. Let the kids have a little fun on Halloween.


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