I remember wearing costumes to school on Halloween. Don’t be afraid to be creative and even if your friends aren’t dressing up (they’re lame then, anyways), to have fun and enjoy the day. Evanston/Skokie School District 65 posted a message to parents online, saying because of their desire to be equitable and inclusive to all families, Halloween celebrations in … Students are invited to come to school in costume or dressed in orange and black on October 31. ", "So I'm just going to go ahead and play Devil's Advocate and say that I agree with the school's decision for reasons that the school didn't actually cite for making that decision.". An increasing number of schools are banning Halloween parties and costumes for religious reasons. Too many upset students when costumes become torn, lost or parts forgotten at school. The old, "If *you people* don't like *our* cherished traditions, why don't you just a) Not send your kids to the schools which they have a fundamental, documented right to attend; or b) Go back to where you came from," which collectively garnered 12 likes in about 20 minutes. But the nice thing about having a five-year-old and a teenager in the same house to toss around pseudo-legal questions is that Augie will ask “why can’t I?” while Max will ask “what if I do?” As in, what if—despite what the school says—I wear a costume to school? Plan to wear costumes that are comfortable as they will be worn all day. The decision was attributed to the "staff" and the reasons behind it were given as follows. Halloween costumes … This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. After Tinker, courts considering a student’s free speech rights at school (or sometimes outside of school)  try to figure out the balance between a student’s right to free speech and a school’s need to maintain its disciplinary line against chaos. 2. It would be for the head teacher to decide what pupils can wear for special days. Due to increase in supervision duties, teachers do not have the time to dress or apply make up for up to 30 students in their classrooms. Sure, but just watch what you wear and what your message is. The court, however, was at a loss to figure out what part about wearing sagging pants was speech protected by the First Amendment. A number of schools across the U.S. have decided to forbid students from wearing their Halloween costumes to school, in an effort to be more inclusive to other students. It is a great debate: should students be allowed to wear Halloween costumes to school? Blocking out that portion of the discussion as completely irrelevant, the rest of the discussion was very balanced. I don't know... Friday, I guess. His Halloween costume doesn’t really convey a message other than “I like knights,” or “Yay, Halloween!,” or “Dressing up is awesome!” As one court has said “[n]ot every defiant act by a . October 24, 2011 | 7:48 am. Halloween is going to feel less spooky at some elementary schools this year as school officials cancel Halloween festivities and ban kids from wearing costumes on school grounds. Subject: No Halloween costumes at schools/departments Please remember, it is a district practice to not have students or staff wear Halloween costumes to school or departments. No one should it's a win win, kid get their parade and the quiet kids get their own comfortable environment. Solution to #5: Why would a parent let their child wear something dangerous, that's just stupid. They will actually be sent home from school on Halloween if they wear a costume to school. While lawyers tried to make a case that “sagging pants are a way for him to identify and express his link with his black identity, the black culture and the styles of black urban youth,” the court was unconvinced. It's not my school -- we're having a parade! It’s hard to believe that this frenzy is solely due to Halloween costumes but rather about a disagreement about how much say parents should have in the running of the school… It’s a time for tricks and treats—but not offensive costumes, says one Ontario school board. Or, take the case of Aloysius Dreaming Bear,  a young Lakota man who wanted to wear traditional Lakota clothing at his high school graduation, rather than the school’s required cap and gown. I look forward to seeing the creativity of our students when they arrive at school on October 31st. This year, to uphold school health and safety measures during the COVID-19 pandemic, the board has asked students not to come to school with non-essential items. Allowing Halloween costumes at work is no doubt a fun way to give your employees a break from the stresses of the day-to-day. ", "Well, they said that the teachers don't have time to help all the kids in their classes put on make up and costumes. The standard rules for "appropriate dress" that (I assume) everyone is familiar with would apply just like any other day (a subject in and of itself that I have covered in detail on my blog, so I won't bore you with it here!). I had no intention of doing a Halloween post today….until I saw THIS video of a friend of a friend. ©2021 Verizon Media. Part of HuffPost Parenting. Basically, the court said, there’s no protected speech being made by wearing his sagging pants. As these things inevitably do, the discussion quickly devolved into the usual "they" can't force "us" to give up "our" cultural traditions/why-come-to-our-country-if-you-don't-want-to-follow-our-traditions (I'm pretty sure that's what the Native Americans said)/this-is-just-political-correctness gone-mad rhetoric... Ah yes..."Nobody take offense or anything, but I'm just going to blame religion for a decision that didn't actually involve religion. Here’s the simple answer: because that’s what your school said. But, Max asked, doesn’t Augie have the freedom to express his personality at school through whatever he wants to wear? 3. Many offered creative solutions to the problem: Heck, half the time Molly wears princess dresses to school. But you can, at least for now, wear a silicone bracelet with the message “I ♥ boobies (KEEP A BREAST)” (the I ♥ Boobies case). . Strawberry Elementary School kicked off this year with the welcoming of our new Principal Josh Wilson. So I guess if kids brought something they weren't supposed to they could put it in their locker. Other posters made some very astute observations about the effects of banning costumes and the benefits of school-sanctioned Halloween fun. But it prompted Augie to ask me “Why can’t I wear my Halloween costume to school?” No Halloween costumes, schools tell students. ", "Why would a costume not be appropriate? But seriously, don't be offended, y'all, cause I said I didn't mean it *that* way. *You may wish to send a change of clothes for your child. Although there are many more great Halloween costume ideas, these are some quick and easy, school-appropriate costumes to hopefully give you inspiration on what you want to dress up for this October 31st. Much like the holiday itself, the practice of dressing up is the result of a hodgepodge of traditions from around the world. I'm normally at the head of the inclusivity parade but this is ridiculous. Go to the office!" Senior Beatrice Pocher said, “halloween costumes should not be worn in school because it can break the school dress code and it may make some students feel uncomfortable or distracted.” Not only can costumes be inappropriate and gorey, but they can make students and teachers feel offended. There’s no one explanation for how Halloween costumes originated. I don't know, mommy. Sure, things started off strong for student rights in 1969 with the seminal Tinker decision, which involved three students who wore black armbands to school in 1965 as a silent protest against the Vietnam War. None of the reasons mentioned in the original post had anything to with religion, for one, so that's not even under discussion. Why Can't My Child Bring a Halloween Mask to School? For the most part courts have been conservative when it comes to student free speech protections, giving public schools wide leeway in maintaining control over what students say, do, or wear. 7. There are definitely plausible reasons as to why a school would not allow its students to wear costumes on Halloween. There are restrictions on some costumes — for instance, no masks, no simulated weapons and no blood-and-guts makeup. Just wear a black armband with “I ♥ Goblins (Keep Halloween)” on it as a protest over the school’s elimination of your favorite holiday. . Due to increase in supervision duties, teachers do not have the time to dress or apply make up for up to 30 students in their classrooms. Why wouldn't they just put on their costumes at home? files. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, Raise the kind of person you'd like to know, a subject in and of itself that I have covered in detail on my blog. An email from Principal Jason Farrel of North Country Elementary School in Antelope states that classrooms will no longer have Halloween parties, the school will not have a Halloween … Every year, school teachers and administrators grapple with the decision whether or not to allow students to celebrate Halloween on campus. It literally made me smile ear to ear and I knew the interwebs NEEDED to see this! Sometimes I just yell it out randomly at people on the street! "But Mrs. So-and-so, I just felt like wearing my overalls today!" At the high school level we have allowed Halloween costumes to be worn within the following guidelines: No masks may be worn, no costumes that are … Jul 24, 2020 - No Halloween Costumes For Students At Hamilton School School Says No To Halloween Tells Kids To Celebrate Wacky Fort Lee Elementary School 2 Gives Back For Halloween 57 Easy Last Minute Halloween Costume Ideas Diy Halloween 50 Memories For The Srns 50th No 42 St Raphael School Elementary School Principal Cancels H… ", "They were also worried that it might be hard to make sure the costumes were all appropriate for school and for learning. From the 1980s and beyond, TV characters, celebrities and famous singers are among the costumes worn at Halloween. Solution #4: Tell parents send at your own risk, the school will not be held responsible for that. 2. I say it whenever I get a chance. Costumes are hot and uncomfortable causing irritation and often crying. That was the general gist of  Tinker, which also said that the case did not relate to “the length of skirts or the type of clothing, to hair style, or deportment.” And that’s Augie’s problem. The decision came as a complete shock to the parents, who had never been asked if they would be able to volunteer to help or to ensure that their children could deal with their costumes themselves. Solution to #7: Not that difficult actually. ", "What? Forbidding "dress-up?" I said the school would tell him to take it off and, if he didn’t, we’d get a call and he may get sent home. I also sought an expert opinion on the topic, posing the question to Ben: "Hey Magoo, there's a school in town that has decided not to let kids wear costumes on Halloween. As for the reasons for cancelling Halloween, public schools generally give at least one of the following explanations for eliminating Halloween from the school calendar: Halloween celebrations are religious observances and, if held at a public school, violate the establishment clause of the First Amendment; or; Students with religious objections will not participate in Halloween celebrations or … *For younger students, it's a good idea to give costumes a "test run" at home to make sure that your child can get in and out of them by themselves as staff may not be available to help them. ", This post originally appeared at www.picklesINK.com. Robinson still remembers a first-grader who wore a … Each year, our students display some of the most well designed costumes that require a lot of thought and planning. 3. Also kids should know better respect other peoples property. And courts generally won’t argue with that. ...notwithstanding the fact that not one of the school's reasons cited religious/cultural accommodation as a factor in the decision, so let's just leave that train in the station or better yet send it to the scrapyard, mmmkay? Undeterred, and also prompted by teenage fairness and rebelliousness, Max wondered what would happen if his little brother wore a costume to school anyway. Oh, wait -- there was that time when I wore my knight costume -- you know, when I was still at Molly's school -- and I had my sword and shield but we weren't allowed to have weapons at school so I put them in my cubby. All rights reserved. Teaches don't have the time to apply facepaint? With that, many parents had hoped that this year would bring some positive change, such as the dissolving of the much-hated rule: "No Halloween costumes at school". Still, no one in Plainfield wanted the Halloween celebrations, a long tradition in the school community there, to end. The school quickly banned the armbands (but didn’t ban political buttons) suspended the students, and set the stage for a Supreme Court decision. I still don't really get it. So long as the school allows them to opt out (and even this may not be constitutionally required), things are good. Thirty-two students were asked whether or not Halloween costumes should be worn at Charter Oak High School. Gregory D. Luce /   October 30, 2018 /   Lawyer, Legal Crap My Kids Ask Me /   2 Comments, Last week, Augie’s school announced that, instead of Halloween, it would be celebrating a “Fall Festival,” without costumes, which would not be allowed. And it's not just public schools avoiding entanglement issues. and I suggested a sample letter that could have been sent out to parents. We're so concerned about offending people with out institutionalized racism and Judeochristiancentric statutory holidays that we are letting our cherished traditions like celebrating the Gaelic feis of Samhain, marking the end of the harvest and the turn of the seasons to wintertide, with the pagan traditions of mumming and guising and rest assured WE WON'T GIVE UP OUR CULTURAL APPROPRIATION WITHOUT A FIGHT.". 5. Protesting a dress code by wearing a button that protests the dress code actually appears to be allowable free speech in public schools. The Halloween staples were thought to be too scary for some children, so administrators at an unidentified school sent a letter to parents ahead of the holiday. Wait, I don't really get that. Besides, a defiant costume wearing kindergartner will likely substantially disrupt his class, especially if the class is trying to learn all about the wonderful festivities that occur in the Fall and he’s exclaiming “how dare you enter my kingdom!.”. In her post she commented on each of the reasons given with simple solutions: Solution to #1: Ask parents to make sure costume is easy and requires no make up. Honestly, it is currently a commercial, secular day of the year. It's possible I'm *that* parent. 2. You cannot unfurl a banner across the street from school with the ironically funny but apparently drug-promoting message BONG HiTS 4 JESUS (the BONG HiTS 4 JESUS case). As for the reasons for cancelling Halloween, public schools generally give at least one of the following explanations for eliminating Halloween from the school calendar: The first reason is specious, given how secularized Halloween has become—no one is suggesting we’re celebrating All Saints’ Day or going back to celebrating the pagan tradition of Samhain, with divination rituals, a ring of stones, and the summoning of fairies. Summary: I would send my kids in costume anyway and raise holy hell if the school tried to make something of it. For instance, you can’t wear a t-shirt with “Drugs Suck” on it (the Drugs Suck case). To be honest, the whole student free speech issue is a bit of a mess, with varying standards being used, depending on the message the student is making and how that message is being conveyed. Suggestions of "laziness" on the part of teachers were quickly shut down by other posters pointing out the challenges teachers face with increasing class sizes and curriculum requirements. If they don't want to organize a halloween parade, that's one thing. We also have an increase in number of students who cannot be photographed whom we have an obligation to protect so this can be difficult to monitor. Of the three explanations schools use to do away with Halloween, the third one rests most solidly on legal grounds. Last week, the Conseil scolaire Viamonde, a public, French-language school board in central and southwest Ontario emailed parents a set of guidelines for this Halloween with some pointers on appropriate costume choices.Examples of outfits that shouldn’t be worn in their schools include … How do you even define that? That's because a number of elementary schools aren't letting students wear Halloween costumes to school events for reasons of inclusion. Increase in the need to monitor and address appropriate dress and socially acceptable costumes. 1. No witches, vampires, or anything of the sort. Many costumes are dangerous on the playground and impedes moving comfortably and or are not conducive to the learning environment. Basically, schools that take this approach believe that goblin-like merry-making consumes class time that is better spent educating kids. I understand anxiety is a tough one but these children cannot be sheltered for society their entire lives and our kids shouldn't have to suffer because of it. The second reason raises a possible constitutional issue for those who DON’T want to partake in Halloween. Children kept coming to school with more realistic — and more disturbing — costumes. Costumes and parading increases apprehension in an increasing number of students who are presently experiencing anxiety issues -- which can result in crying, worrying and withdrawn type of behaviors. Creative Halloween Costumes that don’t break the bank. This year should be no different. Scarier costumes. *To avoid frightening our younger students, please avoid facepaint or masks. Here's one for the "What is the world coming to?" Principal Brian Anderson unilaterally banned Halloween costumes at the Buckman Elementary School in Portland, Oregon, wanting to deemphasize the celebration of Halloween at school, and stating that "we" are pushing our traditions on an ever-changing population, meaning new immigrants. Filed Under: Lawyer, Legal Crap My Kids Ask Me Tagged With: Featured, Student Rights, dial-back Halloween celebrations in public schools, Color Us Surprised: Scalia Is The Most Sarcastic Supreme Court Justice, Throw Another Bagel and You’re Toast, Partner, Halloween celebrations are religious observances and, if held at a public school, violate the establishment clause of the First Amendment; or, Students with religious objections will not participate in Halloween celebrations or may be offended by them, thus either staying home or feeling left out or ostracized. The students won, with the Court ruling that a public school student may express an opinion on controversial subjects: if he does so without ‘materially and substantially interfer[ing] with the requirements of appropriate discipline in the operation of the school’ and without colliding with the rights of others. Why? However, showing up to work on October 31 st to find an office full of risqué and offensive costumes is a nightmare of potential discrimination and/or harassment claims just waiting to happen. But schools, ever wary of lawyers and lawsuits, just figure they’ll do away with the whole problem and call Halloween something else, even if a Fall Saturnalia ironically harkens back to pre-religious, pagan traditions. Given the descriptive trajectory of legal cases dealing with public school students’ First Amendment rights—from Tinker to BONG HiTS 4 JESUS to Boobies—what’s an activist kindergartener to do if he’s jonesing to buck the system by wearing a medieval knight costume to school? I think they should be allowed to wear costumes. Solution to #3: Make sure costume is indoor friendly. *Costumes must comply with our standards of appropriate dress. And finally -- asserting our right to our time-honored traditions: "I hate to say it but... oh, who am I kidding? The [school] staff have agreed no Halloween dress up based on these grounds. 1. If costumes are prohibited, my advice is this: don’t do it. Take, for instance, a New Mexico high school student who wore sagging pants to school, in violation of the school’s dress code. It is not part of our educational mission to parade around in costumes and eat candy all day. 6. 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