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. ", "What? Part of HuffPost Parenting. 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. But it prompted Augie to ask me “Why can’t I wear my Halloween costume to school?” Still, no one in Plainfield wanted the Halloween celebrations, a long tradition in the school community there, to end. 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. No witches, vampires, or anything of the sort. What does that even mean? But you can, at least for now, wear a silicone bracelet with the message “I ♥ boobies (KEEP A BREAST)” (the I ♥ Boobies case). Why wouldn't they just put on their costumes at home? I don't know... Friday, I guess. 3. They will actually be sent home from school on Halloween if they wear a costume to school. This year should be no different. No Halloween costumes, schools tell students. 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 . And finally -- asserting our right to our time-honored traditions: "I hate to say it but... oh, who am I kidding? NO PICTURES PLEASE; we are all grown up we know how to follow rules. 2. Online Chatter: Banning Halloween in School Amid increasing pressure from a variety of sources, public schools across the country are taking steps to eliminate traditional Halloween celebrations.From the Pacific Northwest to the Mid-Atlantic, students are being told not to dress up in costumes and informed that parades and candy exchanges will no longer happen. 2. Why Can't My Child Bring a Halloween Mask to School? So long as the school allows them to opt out (and even this may not be constitutionally required), things are good. And that explanation generally rests—at least for Halloween costumes, student clothing, or student grooming standards in general—on pretty solid legal and constitutional grounds. The school quickly banned the armbands (but didn’t ban political buttons) suspended the students, and set the stage for a Supreme Court decision. Undeterred, and also prompted by teenage fairness and rebelliousness, Max wondered what would happen if his little brother wore a costume to school anyway. *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. While it may be an expression of his personality or may exude solidarity with other Halloween-costumed knights and goblins across the globe, I’m not sure it’s expressive conduct protected by the First Amendment. I remember wearing costumes to school on Halloween. As holiday events across the … How do you even define that? This Halloween, no ninjas are allowed. The majority of the conversation centered around the issue of parents/caregivers not being given a chance to try to problem-solve these issues, which most agree could have been done easily. Sometimes I just yell it out randomly at people on the street! One valid justification is the belief that costumes jeopardize the safety of students and hinders the teachers’ abilities to teach by distracting other students. Solution to #6: Create a quiet environment with appropriate activities for these students, whilst the other students go about on the parade. I say it whenever I get a chance. She had posted a video of her son on my friend’s Facebook comment. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. 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. I don't know, mommy. 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. 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. This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Every year, school teachers and administrators grapple with the decision whether or not to allow students to celebrate Halloween on campus. It's not my school -- we're having a parade! But, Max asked, doesn’t Augie have the freedom to express his personality at school through whatever he wants to wear? "But Mrs. So-and-so, I just felt like wearing my overalls today!" Students at Hillcrest Elementary School in Waukesha, Wisconsin, will not be permitted to wear their Halloween costume to the school’s fall festival on October 31, and are instead encouraged to wear their favorite hat. 6. 4. Basically, schools that take this approach believe that goblin-like merry-making consumes class time that is better spent educating kids. ...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? We want an inclusive environment, so we’ll get rid of the witch costumes and try to be less Halloweeny, like, say, renaming things to the Harvest Frolic or a Cornucopian Carnival; or. It’s a time for tricks and treats—but not offensive costumes, says one Ontario school board. Sadly, that much anticipated and welcomed change has yet to be announced. There are restrictions on some costumes — for instance, no masks, no simulated weapons and no blood-and-guts makeup. 7. 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. *To avoid frightening our younger students, please avoid facepaint or masks. 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. 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. Basically, the court said, there’s no protected speech being made by wearing his sagging pants. Nowadays, it is common practice to wear any kind of costume for the Halloween celebrations, and thousands of people dress as characters or objects which are in no way related to the traditions Samhain festival. 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. Not a hard solution. I had no intention of doing a Halloween post today….until I saw THIS video of a friend of a friend. I think they should be allowed to wear costumes. 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… 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 … Of those 32 students, 27 agreed that it was a good idea to wear costumes. 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. - Mendham-Chester, NJ - Chester, NJ Ophthalmologist Niki Silverstein, MD talks about why masks can be a potential problem this Halloween. They started out allowing "nice" costumes. 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. Costumes are hot and uncomfortable causing irritation and often crying. . ", This post originally appeared at www.picklesINK.com. Halloween costumes … Solution to #7: Not that difficult actually. None of the reasons mentioned in the original post had anything to with religion, for one, so that's not even under discussion. After being suspended, he sued the school district. Here’s the simple answer: because that’s what your school said. ", "Well, they said that the teachers don't have time to help all the kids in their classes put on make up and costumes. Scarier costumes. 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? Of the three explanations schools use to do away with Halloween, the third one rests most solidly on legal grounds. There’s no one explanation for how Halloween costumes originated. Other posters made some very astute observations about the effects of banning costumes and the benefits of school-sanctioned Halloween fun. 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... 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