As Halloween turns heads 180°and makes shadows dance behind unmoving figures, it comes time for the skeletons to come out of the closets and have a party. So, as most would agree, Halloween is a time for individuality, and, without a single doubt in the world, candy. But it seems now that the little bit of freedom of expression kids have these days has been pulled straight out from under their feet. Appearing in classrooms all over, some elementary schools have now taken away the privilege of students to show up to school wearing white sheets, princess gowns and cowboy costumes. Ripped and tugged away from their tiny hands is their fun that takes up only 1 out of their 180 days in school. They have been left to whimper with only thoughts of pixie dust, pumpkins, and the slight distraction of school in their way. No parading around the building in a costume, painting pumpkins or playing mummy in class. Halloween has become devoid of all fun in school.
Mixing up a potion for this new rule seemed to take only a few things: inclusion problems and frightening costumes. Seen as a hiccup in multiple schools, Halloween has brought up issues with the inclusion of all the students. Faculties have become concerned with those who do not have the luxury of buying or being able to make a snazzy costume, and also worry for those who do not partake in the holiday. But another part of the difficulty is that of the easily frightened. As children get older, the bloodier and scarier costumes seem to become more appealing to them, but in the case of the youngins, they still remain petrified of the what they see as more than just costumes. But frightening costumes don’t just refer to those of a scary nature—it can also be applied to those which seem to be more risky. As it goes, getting older tempts the minds of kids and pulls them toward costumes that are deemed inappropriate for school, and definitely against the students’ code of conduct. Whether the costume includes inappropriate images or weapons, the imagery seems to be too much for school. And in hopes of fixing the task at hand, in school celebrations will come to a end.
When news of this new dress code went public, it didn’t seem to hit the ground running. Many people were overtaken by the idea calling it silly to make such a fuss over such a simple and fun tradition, and even went to the extent of calling the new change dumb. Many parents were also irritated with this adjustment, saying that kids should be allowed to enjoy the holiday as they had when they were young. But there were a few outliers in the mix; some people agreed with the change of policy and thought good of it. Others agreed because of their lack of participation in the holiday too.
However, I couldn’t help but wonder if Halloween festivities in school should just stop there or was there a simple solution hiding right under our beds. In many schools, they have made the attempt to replace Halloween with “Tie and Scarf Day,” happening once a year where kids are restricted to what they wear, but still remain able to dress up. This action was made in hopes of allowing students the chance to still engage in Halloween-like activities, while making restrictions on costumes to make sure to avoid issues between students and overall trying to disconnect the event from the holiday, in order to cater to those who didn’t celebrate. Of course there were still issues with problem children wearing other than what they are permitted to, but students who neglected and violated the rules were punished for doing so.
Ultimately, though, it comes down to the same issue of allowing kids to express themselves or not. Do we take this away from the youth to protect what adults think and feel? Or can we just leave the holiday as adults now had grown up with it and let children be who they truly are?