The Oregon Faith Report - Faith News from Oregon

Halloween brings out school ban policies

October 29, 2010

Halloween brings out school ban policies, one city bans teens from Trick-and-Treating with a $1,000 fine
Oregon Beaver State Believer,

Halloween is almost here and with it comes a school’s balance between competing interest over appropriateness, what to ban and what to allow in this very wild holiday when compared to other student celebrated celebrations.   There are religious concerns and concerns over how costumes depict violence, race or sexual issues.    In Salem, Harritt Elementary allows costumes but does not allow costumes depicting monsters. Principal Bill Wittman told the Statesman Journal, “It’s a subject that gets wrestled with this time of year, and there are people on both sides of the fence,”

One Portland school, the Chief Joseph elementary school, found their balance by banning Halloween Costumes at school but throwing a costume party after class.   Like other schools, they are calling their Halloween party a Harvest Festival.

Many schools ban costumes altogether not because of Halloween ties or religious matters but because costumed students interfere with the class teaching. Some schools hold Spirit Week, where each day is dedicated to a new dress code, and such events offer a week’s worth of Halloween distractions that many teachers loathe.

Some churches provide harvest parties as alternatives. One church in Indiana puts on a “Hallelujah Harvest,” where kids can get candy at the 16 stations of the cross.

Below is a video of a town that banned anyone older than 12 from Trick-and-Treating

  
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Discuss this article

Jean L. Sutton October 17, 2011

Halloween. In these times of less money, teacher lay offs, I don’t want my tax dollars used during educational time in a public school.
If parents think their children need this as a cultural expression, then let the PTA put on a Halloween party in the evening at school, or if the money is a problem, combine with another elementary school, and alternate schools each year for this event.

Children need their school time with teachers. Countries like China are getting ahead of us, due to the quality of their public education.
Leave religion, prejudice, etc out of it. Children get social time during recess and lunch breaks, and that’s enough for the short day they are in school. Other countries have longer school days, than we do. Let’s look at the whole picture of how our children are doing to keep American values strong, through public education.

Thank you.

grandma October 17, 2011

Not having Halloween celebrated in the schools is not going to bring
jobs back. Do we really want our kids wound so tightly? Humans have
always held celebrations. It is a social glue. It relieves stress.
There is such a thing of having balance in a life. If we really wanted
smart kids, we would hire more teachers. We cannot do that because the union restrict entry. There are so many retired baby boomers who
have college degrees and would be happy to help in the school for
a small wage. Schools transmit culture. Can you imagine a society
where schools have no sense of history because they cannot celebrate
a holiday? Maybe we should let our children have some innocent fun
in a safe environment.

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