Just recently, I noticed a lot of my friends back home complaining about recent changes in the rules regarding Halloween in the school districts.
In my hometown, a time-honored tradition of a costume parade and small party afterwards in the classrooms became a main staple kids look forward to each year. All that has recently changed due to food allergy concerns as well as religious concerns. Heaven forbid anybody gets offended.
Now, I could understand the worries associated with the food allergies, given the recent EpiPen epidemic where parents can’t afford emergency medication. And to a certain degree, I understand the religious aspect.
But there’s got to be a way around it without ignoring the holiday altogether.
When I worked as a paraprofessional, one little girl in my kindergarten class was of Jehovah faith. Whenever there was a holiday or event like a class member’s birthday party, the teacher would always find a way for her to participate to some degree without breaking the faith. Birthday treats became snack time, Santa Claus crafts became Snowman themed, Halloween became dress as your favorite book character instead. There were so many ways to work around it where everybody can have fun.
So, why aren’t schools going back to that mind set?
Why don’t we go back a little further, when I was in school. I grew up in a very culturally diverse neighborhood consisting of Muslim, Hindu, and Eastern European folk who all had different stances on Halloween. I remember some of my classmates would go to the library instead of the Halloween party we had. I come to learn that there was a separate party for them that was not Halloween themed but fall themed instead. At the end of the day, everybody was happy.
You’d think in the year 2016 we would be over the idea of being offended over every little thing. Halloween for most kids is a time where they can break from the norm and be who they want to be for the day. It’s a day where kids have a little freedom to go out and have some fun, play dress up, eat junk food, and just be kids.
And it seems lately, thanks to ultra-conservative thinking, this wonderful holiday will be taken away from children.
And it’s not just at school level either. I have read several stories over the last few years of towns banning trick-or-treating altogether.
I can understand the concerns regarding the murderous clown sightings and such, but even then, you have cops for a reason and common sense dictates kids should be supervised in their quest for candy.
There are so many ways around these concerns. And it’s a crying shame that a majority have to cater to the minority in this country.
Let kids be kids and keep our adult agendas to ourselves. For one day out of the year, let them be who they want to be.
God, I hate to see what happens around Christmas time.