October 03, 2007

Broomfield School Bans Halloween Costumes, Will Hold "Fall Party"

Naturally, so no child feels left out:
There won’t be little ghosts and goblins at Kohl Elementary School this Halloween.

In a newsletter sent home to parents last week, principal Cindy Kaier wrote that the traditional Halloween party celebrated in classrooms each year will be replaced by a fall party. The party is Friday, and since it is focused on fall, not Halloween, kids can’t wear costumes.
. . .
The decision came after an ongoing discussion culminated two weeks ago in an “emotional” meeting with teachers, during which the discussion focused on school holiday parties and how Kohl could continue to celebrate without leaving out anyone.
That's the standard PC boilerplate: better for the majority to do without rather than have someone feel left out. Just like real life.

Voting on whether to have costumes had been left up to students in recent years--a good experiment in democracy. But now, citing time and financial issues, all the fun must cease:
The Halloween party, which is organized by classroom parents, has morphed into a fall party over the past three years with an emphasis on fall, with leaves and pumpkins and less blood and guts, she said. Last year, kids in grades three through five voted on whether to wear costumes. Some classrooms chose to wear them, some did not.

She pointed out the small percentage of kids who are left out because their parents can’t afford costumes or because their families don’t celebrate Halloween.

Kaier and her staff also cited safety concerns when kids bring fake knives or blood to school as costume accessories. The party is only an hour and the more time it takes them to transform into Dracula, the less time they have to actually party, she said.
The PC and feelings-friendly adults argue that there will be a Halloween alternative, but it falls on a weekend. But some parents weren't buying the decision:
Halloween isn’t completely vanishing at Kohl. Kids can wear costumes at Kohl’s annual carnival on Oct. 27. The carnival will include a costume contest, haunted house and other Halloween-type activities, but it’s on the weekend, which makes it easier for parents and kids to opt out, Kaier said.

Some parents who attended the meeting weren’t satisfied.

They voiced a broader concern that it was political correctness gone too far considering Halloween isn’t a religious holiday in the United States and kids only know it as a fun time to dress up, trick-or-treat and eat lots of sugar.

“Why not get rid of Valentine’s Day too? It’s the same thing,” said Lori Dilillo, a frustrated parent who has enjoyed the long-standing tradition of Halloween parties at Kohl.
And what about those other holidays?

Kaier dispelled rumors circulating that this was just the beginning and that all celebrations would be canceled or changed. A winter party, parties on birthdays and pizza parties will continue. Valentine’s Day will still be celebrated with a Valentine’s Day party, not a spring party, she said.
What about Christmas? Won't someone feel left out?

Seems they've already taken care of that--Christmas parties have been replaced by sterile, PC-friendly "winter parties".

One teacher apparently misses the true obligation of school:
“In my class of 26, if I’ve got one kid in the room that doesn’t celebrate Halloween ... if I have to send one kid home because they feel weird or they feel ostracized, I have failed at my job,” said fourth-grade teacher Jim Tingley.
No Mr. Tingley. The point of school is to educate, not to make students not "feel weird". Feeling weird is part of growing up. And if they never feel insecure in the phony safety net you are attempting to construct, wait until they hit the real world.

The reasons for dropping the Halloween costumes--time devoted to parties, costume concerns, and general desire to shield a child's feelings--raise more questions than give answers. Whether initiated by PC police from the left who stress inclusiveness and abhor fun, or the right who fear the holiday itself, it is the kids who lose out in the end. It seems like childhood now represents a time to manufacture robotic replicas adhering to standards, devoid of creativity, and unexposed to the realities of real life and not, you know, actually educating the children.

Seems like the students aren't the only ones in Broomfield who need to grow up.

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