Local schools host Halloween dance for special needs students

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PLYMOUTH, Ind. --- The spookiest time of the year taking on an extra special meaning for some special needs students in Michiana, with Plymouth High School's annual Halloween dance returning for the first time since 2019.

Students from Plymouth, Knox, Bremen, LaVille and more getting all dressed up in their costumes to come together for a magical Halloween dance, and for some it was the first time since the pandemic started.

“It’s good to see everybody and Kira and Emma, and it’s good to see Skylar. It’s good to see all of them because when I left Lincoln it was really hard for me,” said Plymouth High School student Lucas Thangam.

On top of being a martial art master this Halloween, Lucas is also a sophomore at Plymouth high school. He’s among many other students who said Friday’s event was so much more than just a Halloween dance.

“It’s so happy to be back with all my friends,” said another Plymouth high school student. “It just means getting to see them all interact again and just have fun and that means a lot because they weren’t able to do that last time. So it’s cool to see that,” added Mila Cramer, a peer student at Plymouth High school.

With students isolated over the last 18 months, Plymouth High School special education teacher Tammie Radican said dances like these give the kids the chance to bond again with other students in the area.

“It’s incredibly important for students because socialization is so key and often times when you have a disability you’re isolated just because the disability does that. You maybe are not able to socialize or be involved in the same activities that your typical peers are involved with and it’s so wonderful to be able to get together and to just have fun,” explained Radican.

Area schools, community members, and parents coming out Friday to help make all the magic happen.

“It means the world honestly because there is a lot of things we are left out of. A lot of things that we can’t do, especially being non-verbal he can’t eat a lot of things, he can’t keep up with a normal person so this gives him a way to just be a kid for a few hours to forget all the therapies, all the doctors’ visits, everything and just be a kid and dance,” said Plymouth High School Parent Faith Gamble.

“For us it’s getting back to normalcy. We enjoy coming out to hang out with our special friends from other schools that we don’t normally get to see,” added Tiffany Hoar, a special education teacher at Knox High School.

The Halloween dance ran from 11-2 pm on Friday and was a collaborative effort from area schools, Christos Banquet Center, and the community. The schools plan to come together again in December for an ugly sweater party hosted by Knox and hopefully a prom in the spring.

You can see a list of local Halloween events in Michiana here.

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