Halloween celebrations unnecessarily banned in schools

Rachel Edie, Business Manager

In elementary school, I remember Halloween day being one of my favorite days of the year. 

We would get all excited and dress up in costumes that we would wear later that night. The night before my parents and I would go shopping for some fun Halloween-themed snacks that we would make in order for me to bring them to school the next day as a treat. 

I would arrive early in the morning to help my teachers hang up streamers, tie balloons, and set up the games that we play and, when the rest of the students arrived, we would begin the party. Everyone ate until they were completely stuffed and we all anxiously awaited the announcement for us to start the parade. Looking back, the parade was nothing more than just walking around in our costumes and pointing at the ones that we especially liked but it was one of the most fun events of my childhood. 

I can’t remember specifically when all of that stopped but it was around the fourth or fifth grade for me. When USD 383 announced that we wouldn’t be allowed to dress up or bring candy anymore I remember my entire class, along with my teacher, loudly protesting against the new rule. One girl even started crying. It was almost like a symbolic end to my childhood when the class Halloween parties stopped. 

Most schools are abruptly stopping the celebrations due to religious activities. This reason is more prevalent in the midwestern states considering more families are stereotypically religious here. Originally, the holiday was banned so that it didn’t seem to favor Catholics over other religious denominations. Most people don’t associate Halloween with the Catholic religion. However, during the late eighth century, Catholics began to celebrate All Hallows Eve or All Souls Eve on Oct. 31, which later shortened to be called Halloween. Of course, it has transformed to include other things besides the original meaning but schools still use this as their reasoning.

Another major contributor to the cancellations is students feeling left out because they’re unable to bring food to the party or they were unable to have a costume for various reasons. This is definitely an issue and a valid reason for why it could be stopped; however, there are other solutions. 

What I believe could be the solution is for schools to lessen the celebrations but not completely cancel them. For example, a school could ban costumes but still have the party, or it could ban the parades but not the costumes or any other mix. There is a way to still make the day special without anyone feeling left out or having it raise concerns.