Does your school allow Halloween parties?'s Teacher Poll of the Week
Does your school allow Halloween parties?

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For many children Halloween runs a close second to Christmas as the favourite holiday of the year. It's a time to dress up scary or silly, stay up late, and of course eat candy until you feel sick. What more could any kid want? For younger children being able to dress up for the entire day is a real treat. Donning a different persona for the 1-2 hours of trick-or-treating never seems long enough.

It's surprising given the enthusiasm with which children approach this holiday that a little over half of the teachers who participated in this poll reported that their school does not allow Halloween parties. Obviously, there will be areas where the majority of families do not celebrate this holiday based on a variety of different belief systems. That's perfectly fine. However, it's hard to believe that almost half the students out there fall into this category.

Some schools try to reign in the excitement of the day by choosing not the celebrate it. Even die-hard Halloween fans have to admit that it is difficult to get much accomplished in the classroom when students are wearing masks, laughing at each other, or so hyped up on candy already that they can't stay in their seats. Not encouraging this type of behaviour makes perfect sense. On the flip side - it's one day out of the year! Maybe there are ways to focus the excitement into educational experiences.

We live in a country where individual rights and freedoms of belief and expression are guaranteed. So not celebrating Halloween because of your belief system is totally reasonable and acceptable. But how do schools draw the line on which holidays they will celebrate? Not everyone celebrates Christmas, but most schools probably do. Certainly schools are closed during the Christmas holidays, so how does that affect people who don't celebrate that particular holiday.

To celebrate or not to celebrate. That is the question. But what's the answer? Individual schools and school districts as a whole have a difficult task ahead of them when deciding what holidays it is acceptable to acknowledge.

Good luck with that.