Parents these days.

Newton officials this week suggested adults forgo collecting prizes at a Tuesday ceremony if they skirted the rules during an annual Halloween tradition meant for their children.

The request for cheaters not to accept awards during the ceremony at Newton City Hall came after the Mayor’s Office for Cultural Affairs was tipped off that some parents may have broken Rule #7 of the Halloween Window Decoration Contest, in which students paint designs onto storefront windows citywide.

The rule states that “parents or other adults are asked to stand 5 feet away from the painting area” while a child decorates a window for the annual event.


Those who assist children in any form risk disqualification, according to the rules.

Regardless of the warning, it appears that “several adults” did not oblige this year.

“We find this disappointing,” wrote Linda Plaut and Jean Smith, the director and associate director, respectively, of the Office for Cultural Affairs, in an e-mail to participants.

To set a good example for the city’s youth, Smith and Plaut said parents “may wish to abstain from accepting a certificate at the ceremonies at City Hall” Tuesday if the cheating accusations applied to them.

“In the interest of teaching fairness to our children, they do need to know that the Rules and Regulations apply to everyone evenly,” they wrote. “Obviously, this is a painful e-mail to send but of course it is an issue that we cannot ignore once being made aware of it.”

Stephanie Foner, a spokeswoman for Mayor Setti Warren’s office, was not aware of any parents declining a certificate at Tuesday’s event because of the accusations. There were no issues at the celebration, she said.

The e-mail from Plaut and Smith was forwarded to the Globe. Plaut, Smith and Newton Community Pride, which helps to host the event, did not immediately return a request for comment.


The contest is open each year to students in third to eighth grade. This year’s contest took place on Saturday, Oct. 29. Participants were given a timeframe, between 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., to complete their projects.

All the work on the storefront windows, according to the official rules, needed to be done freehand, with tempera paints — and sans parents. The paintings also had to have a Halloween theme.

Steve Annear can be reached at steve.annear@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @steveannear.