We’re now halfway through October, everything is pumpkin spice flavored and orange, and Halloween is on its way.
Well, that is to say, it’s on its way to every school and neighborhood that has grown a thick enough skin to withstand the culture-appropriating and generally offensive triggerfest it devolves into each year.
For others, like the elementary school in the tony Chicago suburb of Evanston, the fall season won’t be quite so fun and spooky.
Earlier in September, the school announced plans to cancel Halloween—not just certain costumes or games, the whole damn holiday—over concerns that some children who did not celebrate the holiday would be offended by spooky costumes and decor, according to North Cook News.
“Halloween parties may not be essential to a school’s ‘core curriculum,’” Betsy Hart of Wilmette and founder of New Trier Neighbors told North Cook News. “But disbanding this age-old tradition, the stuff of innocent childhood memories and joy, because someone somewhere finds it ‘offensive,’ smacks of Orwellianism. It is a symptom of a much larger problem and, well, it’s scary.”
The school disagrees, of course, on the super-serious grounds that Halloween damages their belief in “equity.”
“As part of our school and district-wide commitment to equity, we are focused on building community and creating inclusive, welcoming environments for all,” Principal Michelle Cooney wrote in an email to the Chicago Tribune. “While we recognize that Halloween is a fun tradition for many families, it is not a holiday that is celebrated by all members of our school community and for various reasons.”
The Monona Grove School District in Wisconsin also banned the entire holiday and all forms of celebration (including parades, parties, and costumes), calling it “inappropriate” and not “inclusive.” Supervisors at the school district claim that Halloween invariably excluded certain children at their schools and highlighted social, financial, and cultural “inequities.”
Over in Scotland, the very birthplace of the practice of trick-or-treating, one school banned Halloween in favor of an “Autumn Dance,” according to the Sun, after two parents complained that “not all families celebrate Halloween,” and that “forcing” kids to purchase Halloween costumes to wear to school could put an unnecessary strain on family budgets.
We are truly robbing an entire generation of kids of their creativity and problem-solving skills with this nonsense. Now, I can understand that costumes and candy can get pretty pricy. However, I also know that paint and tape are cheap, cardboard is cheaper, and you can make damn near any costume out of leftover Amazon boxes and have a heck of a lot more fun doing it than buying a costume at the store.
Or, you know, just put a pumpkin on your head. Quick and easy.
Thankfully, the number of schools banning or sharply regulating their Halloween festivities is still a minority.
Liberal college campuses, on the other hand, are a whole other ball game. Halloween becomes a veritable Thunderdome in which students attempt to just survive the holiday without offending anyone or being offended.
Michigan State University took its thought-policing job very seriously in releasing its Halloween costume rules late last week. In posters tacked up around campus, students were prompted to make sure their costumes aren’t “racially, culturally, or ethnically based”.
The College Fix reports:
Posters asking “Is Your Costume Racially, Culturally, or Ethnically Based?” appeared in dorms last week courtesy of the school’s Residence Education and Housing Services. The placards feature examples of “costume fails”: a guy dressed like a mariachi, women dressed as a Native American (“hypersexualized racism”) and in a Japanese kimono, and … a space alien (allegedly represents “illegal aliens”?).
According to The American Mirror, this is the third year of costume guidance at MSU.
“Sombreros and mustaches, Nazi gear, Rastafarians, illegal aliens, Middle Eastern attire, and other ‘racially, culturally, or ethnically based’ costumes” should be off-limits, REHS advises. Also “racist”: dressing up as Jay-Z, Beyonce, Kanye and Kim West.
Students are warned to avoid any costume that involves “cultural appropriation:” “[w]estern appropriations of non-Western or non-white forms” carry with them “the connotation of exploitation and dominance,” the Mirror reported.
Apparently you’re not allowed to dress as Steve Martin, Chevy Chase, or Martin Short, which is the real tragedy here.
For their part, MSU won’t necessarily be enforcing their ridiculous costume rules. Rather than outright saying students can’t dress in a certain way, The Mirror reports, MSU simply wants students to be aware of “how their costumes can be portrayed,” particularly amid social media “cancel culture.”
So, that’s pointless.
Let’s not neglect the irony that The Daily Wire’s Emily Zanotti points out, namely the fact that “Michigan State University’s mascot is the ‘Spartan,’ drawn straight — one might even say, appropriated — from ancient Greek history.”
The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) duly notes that not all colleges are as “hands off” in enforcing Halloween rules as MSU, and that students have been punished for “insensitive” costumes in the past. Students should note that colleges may not give clear guidelines or explain to what degree, if at all, disciplinary action may be taken, and that the rules can sometimes be subjectively enforced.
Thankfully, FIRE adds, Halloween costumes are considered protected speech and, therefore, public colleges and universities must allow students to express themselves as they please.
How dare these ivory tower institutions attempt to dampen our Halloween festivities! This has got to stop! Who will think of the monsters?!