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"The reasons were the most frustrating:" Waukesha elementary school bans costumes for fall festival

Some parents at Hillcrest Elementary School in Waukesha are frustrated after learning their kids won't be allowed to wear costumes to their fall festival this year.

"For kids to buy the costumes that they wanted to wear for this event specifically and now they can't is another thing that parents are upset about," said parent Jeremy Watson.

The event has been put on for years and students usually parade around the school gym in their costumes for their parents and classmates to see.

"The reasons were the most frustrating to me."

The principal sent a newsletter out last week explaining that not all kids celebrate Halloween and that some families may not be able to afford costumes.

Instead, students will take part in a "Hat day" which will raise money for hurricane relief efforts.

"I think we missed an opportunity for our kids to practice kindness. I know my son would have happily donated costumes that he's worn in the past or gone to target with me to pick up a few costumes to donate to the school," said parent Dawn Pelej.

In a statement, Principal Faith Lincicium says the concerns were raised before the school year started. She opened up the conversation with their site council which is made up of both parents and teachers.

Some parents say it's not just about the costumes but about the environment at school. 

"My son's still going to wear his costume, he's still going to go Trick or Treating. He's going to be fine but I want him to enjoy coming to school."

The school says instead of costumes, students can wear whatever hat they would like as long as it's appropriate.

School officials say they hope the fundraiser teaches kids about the benefit of helping others. 


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