Halloween costumes are traditionally modeled after supernatural figures such as monsters, ghosts, skeletons, witches and devils. Over time, the costume selection extended to include popular characters from fiction, celebrities and universal archetypes such as samurais and princesses.
Despite Halloween’s historical background, which is debatable, cultural or religious conflict with the celebration of Halloween, dressing up in costume slims down to a matter of freedom of choice and expression.
On Oct. 22 New Jersey Superintendent of Schools Michael Davino imposed a ban on Halloween costumes in his district saying costumes deter from learning.
To the group of patrons who are obsessed with being politically correct and conservative, Halloween is a holiday that should be celebrated “after class,” leaving only about three hours for elementary students to be in their costumes.
Brian Anderson, principal of Buckman Elementary School in Portland, Ore. has also banned Halloween costumes “in the name of ‘equity.’”
“For many reasons, the celebration of Halloween at school can lead to student exclusion. There are social, financial and cultural differences among our families that we must respect,” Anderson said.
Although the idea of equity is a legitimate argument, it is not fair to shut down the people who actually do celebrate Halloween. Many students anticipate flaunting their costumes for more than three hours because after all, most children will only have one day to do so.
In addition to the “equity” argument, not all costumes are expensive. If anything, homemade costumes almost always win first prizes in contests. Costumes are a creative challenge that can be made from items in your own closet rather than a financial issue.
Everyone, especially children, should be able to exercise their right to express themselves creatively and expand their imaginations via costume.
Banning costumes in schools is practically a twisted, demented form of censorship.
Of course, while in school, it is understandable to impose rules of dress code so as not to dress too frightful nor too skankalicious, but students should still have the right to express themselves during Halloween.