Let’s face it. Clowns are always scary. Everyone knows that. (File)

COLUMN: Halloween shouldn’t be a purity test

The holiday is a time of pretending and fun

With Halloween around the corner, legions of politically correct snowflakes have already risen like ghouls from the burying-ground, intent upon wringing every last drop of fun from my favourite holiday.

Halloween costumes, it seems, have been ascribed political and social significance that never existed in my youth.

For example, these days little girls are allowed to dress like Disney’s Cinderella, but heaven help any child who wears a Pochahontas costume. That’s cultural appropriation and insulting to First Nations communities, they say.

When I was a child, we didn’t worry about all that. We dressed up and ventured out in search of treats, and never for a moment fretted that our toilet paper mummy costume might be seen as a painful reminder of the theft of ancient artifacts from a colonized Egypt.

But today? Hoo boy!

The Halloween culture wars are in full swing, especially in schools.

One school in B.C. has banned ghosts, zombies and vampires from their Halloween festivities and encouraged children to dress as “delicious food items.”

Really. Not making that up.

And while the transition from zombies to zucchinis might be politically correct, I can only imagine that their Halloween dance looks like a giant Fruit of the Loom commercial.

Other schools have taken a page from an early Christian church that turned pagan holidays in December into Christmas.

Those schools are trying to ban costumes and rename Halloween as Orange and Black Day or School Spirit Day. (And that’s not the fun, spooky spirits either. Just the Rah! Rah! type.)

I suppose they’re hoping that children will forget that it’s Halloween.

Good luck with that.

At least in the Sooke School District, a more reasoned approach prevails.

They’ve issued guidelines that prohibit full face masks but allow for face makeup. They just want to be able to identify the children. Seems logical.

They have also asked that students not dress like scary clowns. It’s a move that I personally appreciate since Pennywise terrifies me and has forever imbued me with an illogical fear of red balloons.

Mostly, though, the Sooke School District suggests that students and parents exercise their best judgment.

For example, schools superintendent Scott Stinson suggests that at the elementary level really scary costumes might be upsetting to the younger children and should be toned down.

Again, that’s a reasonable approach.

But it’s also a bit of common sense that could remain unsaid as evidenced by the fact that my 10-year-old granddaughter explained the same point to me weeks ago.

“You don’t want something so scary that it scares kindergarten kids,” she said. “That wouldn’t be very nice.”

And that’s the key.

But being reasonable and caring doesn’t translate into a need for restrictions. And it does not mean that we succumb to the arbitrary purity tests that some may demand.

Vegetable costumes and Orange and Black Days aren’t what’s needed. Just a little common sense.

And I’m guessing that left to their own devices, most kids and parents will figure it out on their own.

A scary thought for self-appointed, politically correct Orange and Black Day watchdogs.



mailto:tim.collins@sookenewsmirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

We Are One! celebrates solidarity, inclusion with song and dance

Nov. 30 performance includes performers from across Greater Victoria

Greater Victoria students help bring small-scale urban farming to community

The high school students presented their work at City Hall on Nov. 13

New photo gallery snaps into Sidney with a peak

Al Kohut says new downtown gallery aims to develop greater appreciation for photography

Saanich resident calling for gas powered leaf blower ban finds support as autumn leaves fall

‘Cities don’t need to be noisy and happiness and wellbeing should be a priority,’ says the resident

VIDEO: North Island man trapped under ATV for days shows promise at Victoria hospital

Out of induced coma, 41-year-old is smiling, squeezing hands and enjoying sunshine

Greater Victoria 2019 holiday craft fair roundup

Get a jump on your holiday shopping

POLL: Do you support CUPE workers in their dispute with School District 63?

SD63 schools to remain closed as strike continues Tuesday

Port Alberni mom takes school district to court over Indigenous smudging, prayer in class

Candice Servatius, who is an evangelical Christian, is suing School District 70

Family of B.C. man killed in hit-and-run plead for tips, one year later

Cameron Kerr’s family says the driver and passengers tried to cover their tracks

Princeton couple pays for dream vacation with 840,000 grocery store points

It’s easy if you know what you are doing, they say

Chilliwack family’s dog missing after using online pet-sitting service

Frankie the pit bull bolted and hit by a car shortly after drop off through Rover.com

B.C. wildlife experts urge hunters to switch ammo to stop lead poisoning in birds

OWL, in Delta, is currently treating two eagles for lead poisoning

Most Read