Halloween — Not for Children Anymore

sad pumpkinAs a mom, you might remember the Halloween parties in elementary school with nostalgia — dressing up in your fantasy best and traipsing around the gym in a circle — hoping against hope that your ballerina costume was better than the seven other ballerinas who were marching in line behind you. There was always a terrific prize waiting at the end of the friendly competition: an oversized lollipop or a bag of colorful candy. Sometimes you even scored a free coupon for the book fair.

Ah, the memories.

Your own kids will probably never experience these memories of Halloween parties at school. While some elementary schools still celebrate with trunk-or-treat nights or Harvest festivals, few, if any, still sponsor a good, old-fashioned Halloween party in the classroom — one where kids get to dress up in costumes and exchange treats.

What’s the big deal with Halloween costumes worn in school?

According to the North Penn School District in the suburbs of Philadelphia, reasons vary — running the gamut from peanut allergies to financial differences among families who might not be able to afford costumes for their kids. Regardless of the reasons for banning Halloween celebrations from school, one point is remarkably clear — people are divided on the subject, almost to the point of waxing political.

Parents, like Jason Baker, who had a daughter in a Phoenix, Arizona preschool last year, have been prompted to start minor revolutions of their own in an attempt to have the stigma on Halloween removed from schools. Baker, who was told by his daughter’s principal that Halloween celebrations in the classroom were taboo because of religious views, launched a campaign among other parents to have them reinstated. It’s unclear whether Baker’s 2012 battle was successful in changing school policy, but he did say at the time that he intended to allow his daughter to wear her Cinderella costume to school on Halloween, regardless.

Perhaps the answer to today’s Halloween dilemma lies more in common sense than it does in political correctness — allow the children who want to dress up do so, and don’t force the ones who don’t. As moms, we’re always trying to instill the importance of cooperation and collaboration in our kids. It’s important to know how to work together to solve a common problem, but if we as adults can’t do it, why expect it of our children?


Photo Source: I Did English

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