ELWOOD - Elwood School District held a meeting with parents Monday night regarding the canceled kindergarten spring show at Harley Avenue School.

The song-filled kindergarten show has been a tradition for years, but the district recently announced the show would not go on to instead focus on academics.

School officials explained in a letter to parents that the show was canceled because the kindergarteners need to prepare for college and careers, and learn "valuable lifelong skills."

The district's decision sparked outrage among many parents who say the school isn't letting kids be kids. Many parents brought that sentiment to the meeting Monday night.

Elwood School Superintendent Peter Scordo apologized during the meeting to the community for way the parents were notified about the cancellation of the school play, but said the district stands by its decision.

“I believe our intention and decision was right but clearly our communication did not strike the right tone or convey the thoughtful consideration that led to this decision and again for that I'm sorry,” said Scordo.

Still, parents say the annual play allows students to improve their confidence, public speaking and team building.

There are now online petitions demanding the district let the show go on.