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Doral Teen's Petition For Day Off From School After Halloween Got 185K Signatures. Now It's A Bill

Marsha Halper
Miami Herald
Brightly costumed girls from Southside Elementary School wait in line to collect candy during a pre-Halloween parade at the Shops at Mary Brickell Village in 2016. A new bill would let kids stay home from school the day after Halloween.

A junior at a Doral high school started an online petition in October that got nearly 185,000 signatures. The cause? A day off from school after Halloween.

After a series of viral petitions like his and requests from students and parents, a Miami-Dade County state senator filed a bill to keep sleepy, sugared-up kids home on Nov. 1 after a night of trick-or-treating.

Ronald Reagan High School student Nicolas Ayala thinks it’s pretty awesome his petition helped inspire state legislation.

“I just feel like schools and the government doesn’t really pay attention to the student body or anything that we want or how we think they should improve school systems,” Ayala said. “And I just find it super cool that it got that far.”

Democratic state Sen. Annette Taddeo, who represents parts of Kendall and south Miami-Dade, filed SB 1462, which would make the day after Halloween a school holiday, unless it falls on a weekend.

"As a parent, I totally get it," Taddeo said.

Taddeo said she was responding to pleas from families in her district, but she was aware there was interest across the state. Around last Halloween, dozens of similar Change.org petitions popped up from students throughout Florida and around the country, together earning more than a million signatures.

"It went viral," Taddeo said.

Her bill would have to clear three Senate committees before getting a vote on the floor. This year’s legislative session starts Tuesday and is scheduled through mid-March.

This story includes reporting from the News Service of Florida.