Somerville, Massachusetts principal: Fall holidays are insensitive, should not be celebrated

Posted by: ST on October 15, 2011 at 9:56 am

Via Fox News/My Fox Boston:

Anne Foley, the principal at Kennedy School in Somerville, Mass., sent an email to teachers warning them about celebrating Thanksgiving, the Boston Herald reported.

“When we were young we might have been able to claim ignorance of the atrocities that Christopher Columbus committed against the indigenous peoples,” Kennedy School Principal Anne Foley wrote.

“We can no longer do so. For many of us and our students celebrating this particular person is an insult and a slight to the people he annihilated. On the same lines, we need to be careful around the Thanksgiving Day time as well.”

Teachers have already been told not to let students dress up for Halloween.

Parents told MyFoxBoston that they felt the principal was overreacting.

“My kids were brought up with Halloween and whatever have you. She has no right to tell these kids they can’t have it,” one woman told the station.

“The children, they need to express themselves and be children. Don’t take holidays and fun time away from them. They have so much homework. They don’t have enough play time,” another said.

Superintendant Tony Pierantozzi told The Herald that Halloween is “problematic” because of connections to witchcraft.

“I don’t think they should not be able to celebrate these holidays I mean this country was formed with the idea that everything is a free country, and they should be able to celebrate these holidays,” a Somerville woman told MyFoxBoston.

Somerville Mayor Joe Curtatone, who has three kids at Kennedy, also weighed in.

“I’m the son of Italian immigrations, so I take Columbus Day very near and dear, and I’m proud that he discovered America and that America’s named after another Italian,” Curtatone said. “If we ignore and we don’t want to talk about it, if we want to stifle debate, then we’re ignoring history.”

But, writes Boston Herald columnist Jessica Haslem, this principal’s, er, ‘principles’ are not on solid ground:

But some historians say the K-8 educator needs to do her homework.

Carol Delaney, author of “Columbus and the Quest for Jerusalem,” said the Italian explorer has been “terribly maligned.”

“He was not the one going off marauding,” she said. “There were some atrocities that happened but he was generally not involved.”

Charles C. Mann, author of “1491” about the interactions between Indians and Europeans, said Thanksgiving is “sort-of a made-up holiday” but it’s his favorite, bringing families together in gratitude.

“I don’t see why it’s such a terrible thing,” Mann said.

U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano (D-Somerville) said historical figures shouldn’t be judged by today’s standards: “Christopher Columbus and the Pilgrims may have had shortcomings, but they also represent the adventurous, inquisitive side of our heritage and we should recognize that they played key roles in the foundation of our great nation.”

Of the Somerville schools’ ban on Halloween costumes, Pierantozzi said, for some students’ families, “Halloween is problematic.” He cited its connections to witchcraft, adding, “Some of our students come from cultures where kids are frightened by it.”

But Somerville mom Michele Campbell called the holiday hoo-ha a joke: “Let the kids enjoy them.”

Will sanity prevail in Somerville? As they say, stay tuned …

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8 Responses to “Somerville, Massachusetts principal: Fall holidays are insensitive, should not be celebrated”


  1. Chris Bennett says:

    So horrifying that we have educators whose “facts” come, not from books, but from urban legends and leftwing memes.

  2. Tex says:

    The school systems all across this country are full of morons like this. And we wonder why our schools are failing our children. Don’t bother trying to fire this idiot because their union will fight to the death to prevent it.

  3. Tango says:

    Um, this would be the educational system that has produced the whiners, moochers, and deadbeats prancing for the state controlled media cameras on Wall St, right?

  4. Extirpaters says:

    She has obviously read Dickens “Christmas Carol” and is doing her best to imitate Ebenezer Scrooge or possibly Adolph Hitler. She may not be mentally qualified for her job.

  5. Settingitstraight says:

    There is more to Halloween then witchcraft. The word “Halloween” is a contraction from Hallows Eve. The evening before “All Saints Day”, thus a very Christian evening in its origin. Over time it has been bastardized like many of our hallowed christian holy days, i.e., Easter and Christmas. There are christian groups trying to return Hallows Eve to it’s origin by encouraging children to dress as their “namesake” or another saint. The principal, like many liberal minded educators needs an education before they spout such drivel. Do a little research, perhaps a 1000 word essay on the history of Halloween versus current practice.

  6. Ma taxpayer says:

    I can’t believe this person is allowed to work in education. First of all, Thanksgiving is the celebration of a bountiful harvest. First celebrated in 1621. If memory serves, Columbus sailed the ocean blue in 1492.

  7. Marshall Art says:

    This “educator” is the reason people should try to attend school board meetings with some regularity.

  8. Carlos says:

    Old Chris was a marauding murderer, huh? News to me!

    She epitomizes the old country saying, “Them what can, do; them what can’t, teach.”

    And the problem with idiots like this educator is that if she even has an inkling of what real teaching is, she obviously doesn’t have enough knowledge to pass on the the little darlings. In fact, if their parents are properly involved in the education of their own children they probably have better cold, hard facts than she does.

    No wonder we have so many non-functioning airheads costing the taxpayers so much across the nation with their ill-conceived protests.