ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Armijo Elementary is saying no to a Halloween parade this year, no to parties in the classrooms, and no costumes allowed. Students and parents weren’t even given a reason why.

“He was looking forward to his Halloween party,” said Destiny Salazar.

Salazar’s son, Carlos, was planning on being a knight for Halloween this year. Last year, he was a dinosaur during Armijo Elementary’s Halloween party.

However, a letter sent out on Tuesday put a stop to Carlos’ plans.

“Disappointment because knowing my son’s not going to be able to have fun at school for Halloween and to not dress up,” she said.

The letter says the school’s Instructional Leadership Council decided “all classrooms” will not have parties, snacks, or even allow students to wear costumes, effectively canceling the Halloween party. It’s something Briana Perez says has many parents outraged.

“I know my kids are really upset and hurt, and I know a lot of other parents are upset,” she said.

Both Salazar and Perez say they have never heard of the Instructional Leadership Council. The district says it’s a group made up of parents, teachers, and administrators from Armijo, but that answer means nothing to Perez.

“Just said some council decided to take it away, it wasn’t even the PTA. We weren’t even notified or had a vote to get it taken away,” she said.

Both Perez and Salazar say they complained to the principal with no success.

On Wednesday, students went home with a new letter from the principal. It says instead of a Halloween party on October 31, there will be a Fall Festival on a Friday night, 10 days after Halloween, where students and their families can have snacks and wear costumes.

“Which doesn’t make sense to me,” said Salazar.

“Is the Thanksgiving lunch with the parents going to be taken away too? Anything else? Any other holidays we can’t celebrate?” said Perez.

The new letter explains the cancellation of Halloween celebrations by saying this is about a commitment to improving the academic success of the students.

Parents say Armijo has celebrated Halloween for years. However, the letter sent home Wednesday does say teachers are allowed to integrate Halloween into their lessons for the day.

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