Is Halloween too scary for children?

'Halloween' photo (c) 2005, Miala - license:, so my birthday just happens to be on October 31, but that isn’t why I am writing this post. As I was catching up with my google reader this weekend I came across many posts with Halloween themed activities or website ideas. It reminded me that I was at a faculty meeting recently where we spent a considerable amount of time debating Halloween and whether we were going to celebrate it or not.

There were many view points expressed that fell into several categories…..

-Halloween is an American event (not holiday) promoted purely for consumeristic reasons.
-It scares children and schools are supposed to be safe places
-Schools should not promote unhealthy habits like eating a lot of candy
-Teachers should know the history of Halloween if going to integrate in class
-We don’t celebrate a lot of other international holidays, why Halloween?
-Halloween is fun, let the children dress up and celebrate being a kid
-Students should just have opportunity to dress up if they want to

Just to state a few.

I can’t remember ever spending time in a faculty meeting debating Halloween with such strong feelings so this was a surprise to me. I have taught in schools in the States as well as International schools and some schools allowed the students to dress up and other schools didn’t. Some schools allowed the younger students to dress up but not the older students. At this point I am not sure what the final decision will be. Do you think Halloween should be recognized in schools, especially elementary schools?

What does your school do for Halloween, if anything?

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