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Why Are So Many Schools Banning Kids From Wearing Halloween Costumes?

Submitted by on October 31, 2011 – 10:12 amNo Comment

Isn’t anything sacred anymore? Once upon a time, Halloween was one of the few school days that I actually looked forward to. As a kid who went to Catholic school most of my life, it was one of the few days when you could wear anything that you wanted to school and not get into trouble for it. Actually, let me be honest. I’m pretty sure we had to bring our Halloween costumes in a plastic bag, keep them tucked away in our cubbies, and then pull them out sometime after lunch for the annual Halloween parade the school held. But, still: We didn’t have to wear a uniform for an hour or two! How great was that?!

I’m not sure exactly how my old school is doing things these days—haven’t been by there in years—but I have noticed there are a lot of other schools out there who are doing away with the tradition of having kids get dressed up in Halloween costumes. Why? Well, a lot of the schools seem to think kids are missing out on getting a quality education because they show up at school dressed in costumes or change into them for a parade. They think because the kids are busy showing off their costumes to one another, they’re not putting in a full day of school. They believe Halloween is hurting the kids.

And, you know what? They’re right. I see their point. But to them I also say this: IT’S ONE DAY! One freaking day of school. Or, in most cases, one or two hours of school. That’s all the school that kids are missing out on when they celebrate Halloween.

Truthfully, I can see why some people might be upset about that. It’s “only” one day, but with the educational system in some parts of America in shambles, one day means at a lot. At the same time, even if you stop kids from celebrating Halloween, are you really stopping them from thinking about it? You might actually be creating more of a distraction by forcing all of them to sit and think about what they’re missing out on. They’ll be talking so much about not having Halloween at school that it’ll be just as distracting as if they were having it.

It’s one of the reasons I’m glad to see that parents are fighting back against school districts who are trying to ban Halloween. They’re contesting that while Halloween does distract kids, it’s also one of the annual rituals that kids should be able to enjoy while they’re, well, kids. Could they get used to life without it? Probably. But will it really help them to get a better education? In the long run, probably not.

This is just a start for many school districts, too. Some of them have already announced bans on Thanksgiving. And, after that, bans on Christmas celebrations can’t be too far behind. I admire the fact that they want to try and help the kids, but I’ve got news for them: They’re not helping! In fact, they’re doing more harm than good. They’re creating more of a distraction that they would’ve if they just left well alone and let kids celebrate Halloween.

So, what’s next? No recess? No gym class? No free time between periods? Apparently, nothing is sacred anymore. Rest in peace, Halloween. You were fun while you lasted.

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