Canceling Halloween Is the Cruelest Thing To Do to Kids
Such actions remind kids that government authority is stupid, arbitrary, and worth fighting at every opportunity.
For all the rumors of a "War on Christmas," few holidays face as many regular drone attacks as Halloween, which has been hammered over the years as objectively pro Satan, a stalking horse (via UNICEF collections) for one-world government, and a Purge-style event for perverts and candy poisoners (for the millionth time, there are no documented cases of kids chowing down on deadly goodies handed out by non-family members, and last year's highly touted "meth poisoning" story was about as accurate as this year's Mr. Rogers costume is "sexy").
But it's late October, so some idiot school district is, of course, banning Halloween. Yahoo! reports that the Evanston/Skokie School District 65 in Illinois is "moving away" from Halloween celebrations for "two-fold reasons." Officials say that the holiday may offend religious sensibilities (especially non-Christian ones that don't even equate the celebration with witchcraft or necromancy!) and causes poor kids who can't afford fancy costumes discomfort by rubbing the fact of their own poverty in their faces (as if one of the whole points of the traditional public-school system isn't to replicate and perpetuate racial and class stratification).
Here's an official statement from District 65's leadership, which is worth quoting at length both because of the heresy of paraphrase and because the soul-deadening prose of anti-fun thugs must be experienced to be fully appreciated:
As part of our school and district-wide commitment to equity, we are focused on building community and creating inclusive, welcoming environments for all… While we recognize that Halloween is a fun tradition for many, it is not a holiday that is celebrated by everyone for various reasons and we want to honor that.
We are also aware of the range of inequities that are embedded in Halloween celebrations that take place as part of the school day and the unintended negative impact that it can have on some students, families, and staff. As a result, we are moving away from Halloween celebrations that include costumes and similar traditions during the school day. We are confident our school communities will find new and engaging ways to build community within their schools.
In District 65, we remain committed to equity and discontinuing current and past practices that are not in alignment with our goals. Our schools are special because of the people who are a part of them and our commitment to serving the educational needs of our students. Many of our schools have already moved away from the traditional Halloween activities during the school day and have scheduled Halloween or other seasonal activities outside of the school day.
What's the upside of this sort of action? It's an object lesson that traditional, compulsory K-12 education persists mostly to remind kids that authority is brutal, stupid, and arbitrary, and to provide source material for the next iteration of Pink Floyd's The Wall, To Sir, With Love, Alice Cooper's "School's Out," Heathers, Mean Girls, or the next great youth-in-revolt statement. Indeed, the only good reason I can think of to oppose choice and letting parents and kids sort themselves into schools they really like is the negative effect it would have on future music, movies, novels, TV shows, and other forms of popular culture.
In 2014, Lenore Skenazy took to Reason TV to explain "Three Ways Parents Are Ruining Halloween." Take a look before stocking up on razor blades and rat poison.