Students Create Petition to Cancel School After Halloween

Every year before Halloween, petitions are created by students trying to convince districts to cancel school on the day following the “holiday”. This year, one of these petitions is targeted at Round Rock ISD (RRISD). Created by user “mikey m”, the petition has garnered over 14,000 signatures since its creation on Saturday, Oct. 26.

Many people who signed the petition cited the stress of getting up early after being up late the previous night as reasons they wished RRISD would cancel school on Friday. Other issues brought to the district’s attention include the inability of students to focus and their resulting lower performance during classes..

“I think that kids deserve this [day off] because we’ve already had a very stressful week,” Rohit Bandi ‘21 said. “It’s the week of the six weeks and so a lot of teachers put all of their tests this week. Then we have the PSAT,” Bandi said.

There are some student detractors who are hesitant to push for the cancellation of school on Friday. There are a couple reasons that they bring up including the abnormality of the request.

“For so many students to want a three day weekend right after Halloween seems unreasonable because we’ve had mid-week Halloweens for the past two years or so,” Raymond Chen ‘21 said.

RRISD officials also have concerns over the petition. Westwood principal Dr. Mario Acosta commented that such an event would cause unavoidable scheduling issues for the district.

“While I understand that students are asking for days off, those days are actually selected by the school board years in advance. Usually two years in advance or sometimes one year in advance,” Dr. Acosta said. “Fortunately and unfortunately we are a public entity, we have a lot of state and federal mandates that we have to follow and one of them is the number of days we have to be in school.”

RRISD Trustee Cory Vessa echoed Dr. Acosta’s concerns over the petition. Vessa made it clear that she doesn’t speak for the RRISD board but rather for herself. 

“It would also mean that the district would have to add another instructional day to the school calendar.  The district also needs to take into account the impact on extracurricular activities,” Vessa said.

She also added that since low attendance costs the district money, if attendance on Friday proved to be an issue, it might be worth considering giving students the day off. Vessa also noted that she advises students to talk to their parents if this is something they want to see happen, as the RRISD Board does consider parent input.

Although the issue does seem to have significant support from the student body, school is still scheduled for Friday, Nov. 1st. That said, Trustee Vessa did indicate that this might be worth considering depending on the support from parents and the attendance on Friday.