Instead of celebrating nothing, lets celebrate everything
We find it unfortunate that the Orleans Central Supervisory Union (OCSU) has decided to ban celebration of Halloween, and apparently every other holiday, from schools.
We understand the rationale, sort of. A school celebration of Christmas could leave a Jewish or Muslim kid feeling pretty left out.
But since when have most people thought of Halloween as a religious holiday? Yes, we know it was originally a Pagan celebration that some Christians view as evil.
For most people today, however, that’s a serious stretch. Halloween in the United States has long been a secular holiday where children dress in costumes, carve pumpkins, and knock on their neighbors’ door hoping for candy. Which, in our experience, people are generally happy to provide in exchange for seeing neighborhood children dressed in costumes.
Whatever religious connotation was originally attached to Halloween has long since evaporated.
In general, schools have been moving away from the celebration of almost anything, even birthdays, probably in an attempt to be politically correct.
That’s too bad. Are schools to turn into joyless places where the simple fun of having a jack ’o lantern contest is taboo?
Apparently, the answer is yes.
Glover’s new principal and the OCSU superintendent say that holidays have no place in schools, which are for learning, and children can learn about holidays without actually participating in them.
Well, a science teacher tends to be a more effective and engaging science teacher when he or she engages students in hands-on work, rather than delivering a lecture.
If kids are learning about the origins of Halloween, why can’t they engage in some of the practices that make it what it is, while also learning about the origins of those practices?
Surely a teacher would not try to teach the dissection of a frog without dissecting a frog. Or at least we hope it hasn’t come to that.
In our view, political correctness has gotten entirely out of hand. We’re all for inclusiveness, all for live and let live. We obviously don’t condone any kind of discrimination, be it for reasons of sexual preference, gender, race, or religion.
But banning any vestige of Halloween from school is taking matters too far.
We suggest this: Celebrate every holiday. Celebrate everything there is to celebrate. Acknowledge Passover, Christmas, Hanukkah, Ramadan, Halloween, Kwanza, Easter, Thanksgiving,
You could, in the interests of fairness, celebrate nothing, which seems to be the current policy. However, banning innocuous activities is not a very enlightened approach.
Or you could choose real inclusiveness and education, rather than total elimination.
Let’s choose the former where children learn about, and celebrate, all cultures and holidays and have some fun doing it. Let’s not be so terminally politically correct, or just plain silly, that carving a face on a vegetable is an offense. — T.S.