Don't Let Scrooges Spook You Out Of Halloween Fun

October 24, 1990|By Russ Mullaly

Before we know it, Halloween will be upon us. And, on that very subject, there is yet another controversy brewing in the schools. Well, some of them, anyway.

Halloween has always been a good, kid-type celebration. It's something children always look forward to -- they enjoy dressing up in silly costumes, either as something they would like to be, or to "scare" others in a fun sort of way. The kid in me still enjoys the spirit of this day, too.

However, we now have some parents who feel it is wrong to have any Halloween-related activities taking place in the schools. They feel it is celebrating . . . shall I dare say it? Who might it be? Could it be . . .


There is a feeling that by permitting Halloween parties, we are promoting occult practices and evil-doing!

Enough pressure has been put on a couple of elementary school principals to persuade them to go so far as to establish guidelines for how Halloween will be celebrated in their schools.

A newsletter went out from one of these schools stating, "Please assist your child in selecting a costume that is not offensive to others. Costumes that portray witches, goblins, Satan, etc., should be avoided." (Offensive, eh? Does this include lawyer, developer, congressman, or present and former U.S. president costumes?) Another school principal sent out a newsletter that suggested, "Let us make an all-out effort to select Halloween costumes that reflect a kind and gentle world -- not costumes of the supernatural or the occult, but of fun and creative endeavor." Sort of a George Bush approach -- do you think he'll add, "Read my lips -- no new scary costumes"?

Hey, isn't somebody missing something here? Isn't the point, the fun of Halloween to dress up as a witch, vampire or some sort of monster? A lot of kids, and adults as well, like to do so just once a year, for fun. How many children know or even care that they could possibly be glorifying or celebrating Satan? Give me a break! Celebrating Halloween is just another traditional way for kids to have fun by dressing up in costumes and getting candy. Is that evil?

Why is it that we can't let children be children? Let me ask you this: Did you think that when you went trick or treating, you adults out there, that you were performing some sort of devil worship? I know I didn't. I was just interested in pretending to be someone or something else for a few hours and getting some candy from the people in my neighborhood. It didn't cause me to have this pressing desire to delve into the occult and join a cult of devil worshipers. If this does happen to anyone, they are pretty sick to begin with, and if it wasn't Halloween, it would be something else that would "inspire" them.

This whole business makes about as much sense as suing a rock group because listening to their record made some mentally disturbed person jump off their roof or sacrifice their next door neighbor to a cat. Let's face it, there are people out there who are so unpredictable that anything can set them off. So what do we do, ban all activities of any nature to protect our children from everything and anything that could possibly disturb them?

What a dull world that would be!

It sure seems to me that some people have nothing better to do with themselves anymore than to find something, no matter how minute, to get upset about. This seems to be a disturbing, growing trend. If it isn't some obscure, little-read book in a school library, then we have to examine the motives of every holiday to see if it is subverting our children in some way.

Let's not take yet another tradition away from our children. Lighten up out there, all you well-meaning parents. Let your kids enjoy being kids and let them have some fun. It all ends too soon, and then they'll have to worry about money, taxes, their children, where they'll live, war and the economy. So if your son or daughter wants to dress up like a werewolf or Bart Simpson for Halloween, let 'em. What's the big deal?

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