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?
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!
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?