Should Schools Ban Halloween?

It’s time for another Hot Topic on the blog today!

Tomorrow, in many schools across the US, children are excitedly pushing their schoolwork aside to color pictures of witches, stuff their faces with candy and parade about dressed up as Frozen characters, superheroes, pumpkins and many more.

Many children eagerly await this day, planning out their costumes weeks and months in advance.

Even parents look forward to witnessing their child’s overjoyed face as they proudly strut their stuff in the Halloween parade.

Is there anything cuter than children in costumes?

Yet, principals and superintendents across the country are putting on their Grinch hats and placing bans on Halloween celebrations in schools.

People are NOT pleased.

Just last year, in a Pennsylvanian school, a principal sent a letter home banning Halloween only to modify his statement a few days later amid hoards of protesting parents.

Even Canadian schools are firing up parents with recent bans.

Schools site a variety of reasons for implementing a Halloween ban, ranging from religious and social issues to concerns over loss of instructional time.

Are schools taking political correctness too far or do they have legitimate reasons for instituting bans on Halloween celebrations?

Should Schools Ban Halloween?

Should Schools Ban Halloween? 

Here are some reasons why a Halloween ban is not the end of the world.

  • Some people have religious objections to Halloween: When I taught I had a number of children who did not celebrate Halloween. No one ever put up a fuss or complained. They just wanted to know the school’s plans in advance so they could make other arrangements. If more and more children are sitting out or skipping school, is it really worth it?
  • Some people can’t afford costumes or partake in the celebrations: Costumes can be seriously expensive. There are a lot of parents who can’t afford to buy a fancy costume. Sure, you could make your own, but not everyone is crafty or has the time.  Even homemade costumes cost money. In addition, many parents are not able to take off work to watch their child in the parade.
  • It’s a safety issue: Following recent tragic events, schools are now on high alert. It may be difficult to follow recently implemented safety regulations in a costume parade with lots of people coming and going.
  • It’s a health issue: Candy may be the last thing needed in schools with the rising rates of food allergies and childhood obesity. Many schools have already banned candy.
  • It’s a distraction: Candy, costumes, parades… yeah, Halloween is basically a free day at school. I think this may be the major reason why so many schools are looking to ban Halloween celebrations. Administrators and teachers have a lot of pressure on them to raise test scores. Valuable instructional time could be lost.
  • Children will get over it: I went to small Catholic schools my entire life. I think I may have attended one costume parade at school. We certainly read Halloween-themed books and wrote our own scary stories, but I don’t remember anymore than one costume parade. Am I scarred for life because I didn’t partake in a Halloween parade at school? Of course not!

Should Schools Ban Halloween?

So, should schools ban Halloween? Truthfully, I’m on the fence. I understand the administrators’ point of view, and I know how stressful Halloween can be for a teacher. I also understand parents’ desire to see their child experience fun times during their school years.

Ultimately, I think administrators and parents should work together and come up with a compromise. Too often, parents and administrators are at odds with one another.

It’s important to listen, work together, and remember that we all have the same goal- to educate our children.

Now, I would love to hear from you in the comment section below! What do you think about Halloween Bans in schools? 

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  • Christa says:

    I am on the fence about Halloween as a holiday. I have no problem with costumes and candy, but I don’t like the way Halloween celebrates death and evil. I think those topics are too serious to be taken lightly. I think if my kids were at a school with a Halloween party I might keep them home, but I would probably talk with the teachers and find out what kind of party it was first. A good compromise would be a fall-themed dress up party where kids were encouraged to not not dress up as anything scary.

  • Melissa says:

    I can understand the religious aspect of it. As for safety, I think it would be easy to say no masks or costumes with weapons/horror themes. My daughter’s school didn’t have costumes but she did in preschool and it was a lot of fun. I always have good memories of being able to dress up at school for Halloween.
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  • Mrs. AOK says:

    In Illinois the kids did not have a Halloween party, but they did have a fall party 😉 The fall party was Halloween-free, but it still gave the kids a little celebration. A monster bash was thrown ‘after’ school the Friday of Halloween.

    This was our first Halloween here in South Carolina, so imagine my surprise when the kids had Halloween parties!! Kids were even allowed to wear costumes, I thought that was interesting, nobody even told us the kids could wear costumes, it was already known. My kids did not wear costumes to school, because I was unaware.
    I was hopeful that all costumes would be in good taste, I went to the parties and it was cute, the kids had crafts, candy, and goodies. I dropped off goodie bags too, but felt bad in the event a child did not celebrate Halloween.

    The kids’ school will also celebrate Christmas, which is another thing we had to steer clear of back in Illinois, because we had plenty of children from different cultures and religions to be mindful of.

    The fall party, which was NOT Halloween-ish at all in Illinois, was still scrutinized for being non-productive! I think kids are kids, let them have fun! I don’t believe you have to celebrate a holiday per se…
    Fall, Thankful Party, Winter party… that works too.
    In the end kids need fun, right?
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  • courtney says:

    Ughhh not going to lie… I’m one of those mamas that gets kinda mad when I hear of people banning holiday festivities…. Let kids be kids and have silly funnnn….maybe have a fall party where kids dress up instead of calling it a halloween party…. Or a holiday/winter party to celebrate winter and family at Christmas…If you’re that up set about it… Keep your kiddo home that day!

  • Hi Tricia, returning the commenting favour that you did on my site 🙂 Yeah I dont see an issue with schools banning Halloween. Sure, it might be a bit Nanny-state like, being over protective, but it does fix a few issues. Like kids being teased if they have a “crap” costume by other kids for example. Don’t see an issue with artwork and decorations, nor with candy as a small treat, but dressing up isn’t really needed. Keep that for family time 🙂
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