Middle School Editorial: Should schools recognize Halloween?

Campbell Helling

Halloween is one of the most anticipated holidays—dressing up and getting free candy from strangers? Sounds fun! But there are downsides to this culturally embedded holiday: offensive costumes, racially or otherwise, and how certain people or religions view Halloween. 

Since Halloween is mostly celebrated by younger children, many schools hold celebrations on the 31st. But recently, some schools have decided to stop the celebrations to avoid controversy around certain costumes or religious groups. 

You may see a child trick-or-treating in a Native American themed costume or another that pokes fun at another culture. Wearing one of these is degrading and offensive to a person from that culture. Many schools have banned such costumes.

Halloween primarily originated from the Catholic holiday All Saints Day. The day was also called All-hallows, from which we get the modern name Halloween. All Saints’ Day was celebrated with parades and bonfires, and people dressed up as saints, angels or devils.

Some religious groups refuse to celebrate Halloween because of its religious roots. Muslims and some Orthodox Jews don’t participate due to its Christian origins, and some Christians refuse to celebrate because they believe the holiday has ties to Satanism. Some schools have recognized this and banned the holiday.

Halloween is definitely a controversial holiday, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t celebrate it. As long as your costume is culturally sensitive and inoffensive, you can go ahead and have fun.