Canceling Halloween? Now That’s Scary!
They may take our candy--but they'll never take our costumes!
That could be the rallying cry in several districts throughout the United States that have canceled (or at least have tried to cancel) Halloween. Citing everything from allergies to safety concerns to vague references to the separation of church and state, some public schools try to halt Halloween in their halls.
Our school has already banned sharing outside food every day of the year, which is fine by me. Kids get too much junk food, anyway, and I don't want to bear the guilt of sending anyone's kid into anaphylactic shock.
What about parades and costumes and songs and games? Weapons are obviously out, masks and very scary have already been banned...does that cover it?
Apparently that's still not enough for districts that want to ban celebrations entirely, citing Constitutional concerns. Somehow, I doubt dressing up is what our founding fathers meant by the separation of church and state. Besides, even if one accepts the rather weak argument that the modern celebration of Halloween is a religious practice, schools can teach about other beliefs...as long as they aren't teaching those beliefs themselves. Otherwise, we had better cut out any mention of Greek myths or Egyptian pyramids, let alone teaching our children about the existence of the Bible.
No, this is not a genuine objection on the grounds of safety or out of concern for the integrity of the Constitution. This is just about killing any remaining joy in our educational system. Ditch recess, test the kids every day (even give written tests for kindergartners in PE class), and then eliminate any possibility of fun. Apparently if it isn't on the test, it has no place in school.
I would love to hear how the school is going to challenge costumes, anyway. Questioning clothing choices not covered by the student dress code could get the school into some legitimate legal challenges.