IT’S DEBATABLE: Halloween Costumes in School? Kuffel’s Opinion - October 2016

By: Heidi A. Kuffel

October 24, 2016

LET KIDS BE KIDS

Schools should allow kids to participate in Halloween by dressing up in their costumes at school. Parents should have the ultimate choice as to whether their child will participate in the holiday celebration through dressing up, but the opportunity to wear costumes should be presented by the school. The parents’ ultimate choice as to whether their child will participate in Halloween through costume participation protects the right to refuse recognizing Halloween, regardless of the reason, and without inquiry, whether it be religious or otherwise.

Halloween celebrations, no doubt, require more monitoring and participation by teachers, but it is a holiday that is specifically designed for kids, and kids should remain the focus. Rules should be in place to regulate the appropriateness of the costumes, such as costumes without weapons. Parents should remember that although their child is wearing a costume, he or she is participating in a normal school day, and should ensure that their child is comfortable and able to participate normally in the regular school day. Costumes likely create a more excited environment, increase teachers’ monitoring duties, and likely cause distractions. However, arguments to the contrary, holiday celebration is a part of education.

Costumes are one of the major traditions of Halloween. I remember recognizing and essentially celebrating every season, making some kind of artwork relating to the season, and anticipating an afternoon class party for other various holidays, like Valentine’s day or St. Patrick’s day. Halloween is a holiday that is about kids. Kids love celebrating, and allowing kids to wear costumes on Halloween is an integral part to participating in Halloween, and creating a school memory they will look back on and cherish.

If you would like to contact me, I can be reached at (847) 705-7555 or hkuffel@lavellelaw.com. If you would like another viewpoint, read my colleague Lance Ziebell’s article in our IT’S DEBATABLE series. https://goo.gl/bCyx7p