But it turns out that the school’s principal had loftier philosophical reasons for scotching the fun. “Some holidays, like Halloween,” he wrote to parents, “are viewed…as having religious overtones. The district must always be mindful of the sensitivity of all the members of the community with regard to holidays and celebrations of a religious, cultural or secular nature. The United States Supreme Court has ruled that school districts may not endorse, prefer, favor, promote or advance any religious beliefs.” Unless there’s a particularly active group of druids in the district, or the parade ends with a ritual sacrifice, it seems unlikely that there’s much to worry about.

Such wilfully obtuse reasoning may well qualify the principal for a seat on the Supreme Court, but it won him no points with parents or school district administrators. Indeed, after the former complained, the latter hung him out to dry. They explained that the principal’s letter and banning of Halloween activities was “not an accurate representation of the school district’s administrative regulation.” In fact, they stressed that the district’s schools were hosting more Halloween activities than you could shake a Pixie Stix at.