ANOKA, Minn. - Politically correct or not, it only seems appropriate to start this story about Halloween and schools at a school in Anoka, the Halloween Capital of the World. However, on Halloween you're not going to find a single student that's dressed up, only because they celebrated a few days ago.
In Anoka, the kids get dressed up a couple of days before the city's big Halloween Day parade, always on the Saturday before Halloween. The students take a couple hours out of their school day and parade right through the middle of town.
It's been a tradition in Anoka for decades.
You'll find quite a contrast in Minneapolis.
When KARE 11 talked to the district they sent their policy about Halloween which falls under religious observances. The policy has been revised a few times, but basically says in keeping with the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States...no ceremony with a religious or sectarian theme will be included in the instructional program of the schools.
Minneapolis Public Schools takes the role of teaching about different celebrated or religious holidays, but the celebration is not allowed at school.
"It's a religiously based holiday, so we're avoiding that connotation...it's not Halloween," said Elk River school district's Charlie Blesener.
The Elk River school district is sort of in the middle of Anoka and Minneapolis.
Although the jack-o-lanterns can be spotted on school windows and you can find the occasional high school kid dressed up, Halloween itself is not celebrated.
That said, to dress up and have it be an instructional tool for learning is perfectly acceptable and it's up to each school to independently decide what they would like to do.
"Like character based things from literature," explained Blesener. "One one of them had a thing called a vocabulary parade."
Of course plenty of other schools and districts have their own policies and procedures and Anoka has there's as well, it's just when it comes to Halloween things are little bit more liberal in the Halloween Capital of the World.
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