Should Schools Ban Halloween?


Halloween is one of the biggest commercial holidays which means inevitability schools will have to decide how to address it.  Should students be allowed to dress up at school or should Halloween be banned?

Some elementary schools have classroom Halloween parties.  Other schools acknowledge students will want to celebrate on October 31 so they make alternate plans.  A school in Massachusetts is celebrating black and orange spirit day on Halloween.  Indianapolis elementary schools Crooked Creek and Mary Castle are allowing students to dress up as their favorite book character as long as they donate $1.00.  Of course, there are schools who inform families that no costumes or candy will be tolerated. Which schools are correct?

As an educator, my first question is, “Will this disrupt instruction?”  Students spend most of their time in school and if a school has a great culture, students desire to have as many opportunities as possible to have fun with each other.  Personally, I would prefer schools hold a trunk or treat or a Halloween dance after school if that is something the school community wants to have and help organize.  I don’t want to deal with making sure Sally has paid her $1.00 and should be dressed up or deal with giving a consequence if she comes to school in costume, but didn’t pay.  Yes, I think giving students the opportunity to dress up as a character can help build a love of literacy, but for this literacy coach, literacy is 365 days a year and this event doesn’t have to happen on Halloween.

The best route for schools to take when making the decision to celebrate Halloween or not is to determine whether or not it will interfere with instruction.  Schools should not buckle under pressure to appease parents if that means a day of learning is lost.