Rockburn Elementary PTA President Resigns After Halloween Parade Flap
Rockburn Elementary School became divided over the lack of a Halloween parade this year, said former PTA president.
Unlike other elementary schools in Elkridge, Rockburn didn’t have a parade for Halloween. As a result, it also doesn’t have a PTA president.
In the wake of criticism about the school’s decision to do away with the parade, PTA President Loren Agrusti resigned her position.
She said she decided to resign as a result of publicity from a school announcement being published. The announcement was published on Elkridge Patch.
“Based upon the tones in the comments, it affected me personally and it affected my family," explained Agrusti, who is a childcare advocate by profession.
“My third grader was getting grief on the playground that her mom canceled Halloween,” said Agrusti, who maintained that the decision was not a PTA issue.
“It was a very tough decision," Agrusti said. “I’ve been active in the school for over 11 years."
It was her third year serving as president despite a two-year limit, she said, because no one stepped forward in the PTA election last January.
Vice President Barry Polinsky will step in as interim PTA president until Nov. 9 when a special election will be held.
Polinsky told Patch that students were still having parties on Halloween but there would be no parade. He spoke during the Fall Celebration at Rockburn on Oct. 29, an event the PTA sponsored.
“The classes are still celebrating,” Agrusti added. “What was done away with was the parade. Halloween was never canceled."
Rockburn Principal Lauren Bauer told Patch, “I’ve never really experienced anything like that, where parents go to the media instead of going to [the] school.”
She said that no one mentioned the parade during Rockburn’s fall celebration on Friday, Oct. 29—an after-school event in which children could dress up and dance.
Approximately 450 students and their families attended, with children running around in costume and hugging the principal as Patch interviewed her.
Bauer said she wrote a letter to the Rockburn community encouraging parents to communicate with her.
"I just wrote a note reiterating my policy that my door is always open. If you have a thought, an opinion, I'm here."
E-mail Bauer at Lauren_Bauer@hcpss.org or call 410-313-5030.
This story has been corrected to say that Vice President Barry Polinsky will step in as interim PTA president until Nov. 9 when a special election will be held.