If you haven’t heard about any of this already, certain schools across the United States have waged what some are calling a “War on Halloween.”
Looking at the headline, you can already sort of picture the so-called reasoning behind any hostility toward such a fun-spirited day of the year.
I mean, I remember seeing Bill O’Reilly and Fox News raising a huge fuss about a “War on Christmas,” because of people saying “happy holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas” and putting out Santas instead of nativity scenes or whatever. So, when I heard about this Halloween business, I assumed that it was a bunch of conservative Christians complaining about the undertones of the holiday.
Like, I thought that I was going to have to go through article after article about grown men and women who declare “war” on Halloween because it’s The Devil’s Holiday. Fox‘s Pat Robertson literally said:
Halloween is Satan’s night…It’s the night for the devil.
“…most of the candy sold during this season has been dedicated and prayed over by witches…Curses are sent through the tricks and treats of the innocent whether they get it by going door to door or by purchasing it from the local grocery store.”
See? I’m not totally ignorant. My assumptions are based on evidence, kinda.
But I was very, very wrong.
The conservative Christians are the ones defending the holiday. It’s the classic “politically correct people” who are attempting to essentially shut down the secular.
Here’s the story.
An elementary school in Milford, Connecticut made a decision to cancel Halloween celebrations (a party and a pretty traditional parade). They actually cancelled Halloween.
The district initially cancelled the parades after parents expressed concern that Halloween went against their religious beliefs. The principal, Rosemarie Marzinotto, said:
Halloween parades will not take place in any Milford elementary schools…This decision arose out of numerous incidents of children being excluded from activities due to religion, cultural beliefs, etc. School-day activities must be inclusive. Halloween costumes are not permitted for students or staff during the day at school.
“Religion, cultural beliefs, etc.”…..Hm. I wonder what the “etc” was supposed to be.
The teachers were also instructed to have “fall-themed” decorations and candy. Basically they could embrace the seasons, but there could not be anything explicitly Halloween-themed. Of course, parents started a petition to bring back the American tradition. Rebecca Lilley wrote on the petition:
“Growing up in America there are certain traditions and celebrations we have become accustomed to celebrating at home and during school! Saying the pledge of allegiance, Halloween parades, Thanksgiving, Christmas and Hanukkah celebrations, New Year’s, Valentines Day parties and dances and Easter. These are our American customs and traditions and we should not have to give them up because others find them offensive!”
Halloween seems to be a favorite among the American people. It was never really all that important to my sister and me when we were kids, not because of our beliefs, but because we just didn’t have that strong of a sweet tooth.
But I do know a little bit about the holiday. Yes, it has some sort of pagan-y history. Most holidays have history involving a different culture or a belief in something that may or may not be real. Halloween, though, is different now.
This is a very secular holiday. It’s not about actual witches (freaking Connecticut and their fear of witches) and evil spirits. It’s about dressing up in cool or funny or creepy costumes for the sake of doing literally that, and eating candy, and having a good time with your friends in celebration of the season.
I agree that it is not for everyone, though. No one should be forced to participate in holiday festivities if it is against his or her beliefs. But…those who do not want to participate…don’t have to. Shouldn’t it be that simple??
I genuinely believed that math was awful. I went against my beliefs by participating in the math assignments and activities. I wish they’d cancelled math class on my account. I mean, that is how it works now, right?
It’s just elementary school. I am all for making sure that we don’t exclude children from fun things other children are doing. But people choose their own paths, even kids. Instead of taking the fun away from ALL the kids, just let the kids who don’t WANT to participate sit that one out. It’s not that huge.
I’m literally writing this article right now because all my friends went to a football game and I decided to stay home because I did not feel like immersing myself in the fall football culture today.
***There was an almost identical story about a school in Portland, but what do you expect–it’s Portland.
I don’t want to seem anti-PC, because I normally am not. I just think a fuss over kids in superhero costumes is an unnecessary fuss to be making.
Teachers aren’t going to tell the kids that on Halloween Night, the Great Pumpkin arises from the pumpkin patch and delivers presents to all the children. It’s not that type of holiday. It’s pumpkins and candy. Let the kids be kids.
we’re all human.