All Hallow's Out


There's a breed of fundamentalist Christian that protests whenever a school celebrates Halloween and thus, by their lights, promotes witchcraft. Now those easily offended Christians have some unlikely allies: easily offended witches.

KIRO-TV reports:

There will be no Halloween parties at one school district in Washington state.

Puyallup School District spokeswoman Karen Hansen said school officials have been reviewing the Halloween tradition and decided that time could be better spent.

According to a Seattle TV station, Hanson said there were three reasons that the parties will be canceled. The first reason was that Halloween parties and parades waste valuable classroom time. The second reason was that some families can't afford costumes. The third reason is that it may offend real witches.

She said schools have had complaints from followers of the Wiccan religion who are offended at the way Halloween is celebrated. Hansen said schools are teaching students to be respectful and take account of the discomfort felt by others.

She said that witches with pointy noses are not "respective symbols of the Wiccan religion" and that their district wants to be respectful of that.

She said any students who show up in a costume might be sent home.

Reminds me of an incident I wrote about in the early '90s, when a school district in Iowa City told students they couldn't dress as witches because the costumes could be frightening (!) and had "religious connotations." One girl decided to go as a cheerleader instead. I can't imagine any self-respecting Wiccan approving of that.