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Samantha Kemp-Jackson

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A Politically Correct Nightmare: The School That Cancelled Halloween

Posted: 10/29/2013 6:12 pm

Halloween celebrations are cancelled at one Ontario school. No candy, no costumes, no fun. Dressing up -- the crux of the holiday -- is verboten. And candy? Fuhgeddaboutit.

The reasoning behind this puzzling decision is supposedly one of inclusiveness, according to school administrators. Apparently some children were feeling left out of the fun because, for whatever reasons, they would not be wearing costumes on the ghoul's high holiday. Religious or otherwise, the parents of these kids have chosen to not outfit their kids in any type of regalia and as a result, feel that all kids should be banned from warning costumes as well.

Humbug.

The decision of the school board to cave in to these demands is political correctness on steroids. What's next? A moratorium on Christmas? How about we give the Easter Bunny notice as well?

In place of the traditional Halloween costumes and celebrations will be a vaguely-named "Spirit Day" where students are encouraged to dress up in black and orange, as if doing so would take away the sting of not wearing a costume. Older kids are being deprived of their much-anticipated Halloween dance as well because, apparently, dancing in costume is also problematic.

So outraged are some parents that they're taking matters into their own hands and are not allowing the school administration to ruin the fun for their kids. A group of parents has organized a Halloween parade that will pass in front of the school on October 31 whereby kids can wear their costumes and celebrate as they always have on this date. The fact that this counter-strike against the Halloween ban is occurring should give pause to the administrators who dared to take away one of the most beloved aspects of the day.

The wonderful thing about Canada is that we are an inclusive, welcoming and accepting society. This means accepting and celebrating all cultures, religions, holidays and traditions. Halloween, last time I checked, is included in the social fabric and memorable childhood experiences of generations of Canadians. But the Halloween experience is not only the property of native or long-time residents of this country. New Canadians, young and old, revel in the excitement and fun that is marked by dressing up in costumes and Trick or Treating. Who wouldn't get a thrill from seeing a four-year-old version of Superman or a ghoulish child Vampire knock on their door, demanding treats?

Efforts such as this particular school board's decision to accommodate everyone have failed. They're not achieving their desired result of everyone being happy with the decision. In fact, they've managed to insult and deny so many -- adults included -- who look forward to that one day a year where they can get their groove on and dress up as their favourite characters.

In a misguided spirit of political correctness, they have managed to quash the hopes and ruin the dreams of many up-and-coming ghosts and goblins. It's a mighty shame and just plain wrong. Stop the insanity and let the kids have their fun.

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