Let’s face it. Clowns are always scary. Everyone knows that. (File)

COLUMN: Halloween shouldn’t be a purity test

We don’t need to turn zombies into zucchinis, this holiday is a time of pretending and fun

With Halloween around the corner, legions of politically correct snowflakes have already risen like ghouls from the burying-ground, intent upon wringing every last drop of fun from my favourite holiday.

Halloween costumes, it seems, have been ascribed political and social significance that never existed in my youth.

For example, these days little girls are allowed to dress like Disney’s Cinderella, but heaven help any child who wears a Pochahontas costume. That’s cultural appropriation and insulting to First Nations communities, they say.

When I was a child, we didn’t worry about all that. We dressed up and ventured out in search of treats, and never for a moment fretted that our toilet paper mummy costume might be seen as a painful reminder of the theft of ancient artifacts from a colonized Egypt.

But today? Hoo boy!

The Halloween culture wars are in full swing, especially in schools. One school in B.C. has banned ghosts, zombies and vampires from their Halloween festivities and encouraged children to dress as “delicious food items.”

Really. Not making that up.

And while the transition from zombies to zucchinis might be politically correct, I can only imagine that their Halloween dance looks like a giant Fruit of the Loom commercial.

Other schools have taken a page from an early Christian church that turned pagan holidays in December into Christmas.

Those schools are trying to ban costumes and rename Halloween as Orange and Black Day or School Spirit Day. (And that’s not the fun, spooky spirits either. Just the Rah! Rah! type.) I suppose they’re hoping that children will forget that it’s Halloween.

Good luck with that.

At least in the Sooke School District, a more reasoned approach prevails. They’ve issued guidelines that prohibit full face masks but allow for face makeup. They just want to be able to identify the children. Seems logical.

They have also asked that students not dress like scary clowns. It’s a move that I personally appreciate since Pennywise terrifies me and has forever imbued me with an illogical fear of red balloons.

Mostly, though, the Sooke School District suggests that students and parents exercise their best judgment.

For example, schools superintendent Scott Stinson suggests that at the elementary level really scary costumes might be upsetting to the younger children and should be toned down.

Again, that’s a reasonable approach.

But it’s also a bit of common sense that could remain unsaid as evidenced by the fact that my 10-year-old granddaughter explained the same point to me weeks ago.

“You don’t want something so scary that it scares kindergarten kids,” she said. “That wouldn’t be very nice.”

And that’s the key.

But being reasonable and caring doesn’t translate into a need for restrictions. And it does not mean that we succumb to the arbitrary purity tests that some may demand. Vegetable costumes and Orange and Black Days aren’t what’s needed. Just a little common sense.

And I’m guessing that left to their own devices, most kids and parents will figure it out on their own.

A scary thought for self-appointed, politically correct Orange and Black Day watchdogs.



mailto:tim.collins@sookenewsmirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Fraser River land-claim case moves to Duncan for two weeks

Cowichan Tribe elders to be interviewed in case involving Tribes’ rights to land in Richmond

Ucluelet and Tofino mayors call for “calmness” and “empathy” as highway closure cuts communities off from supplies

Ministry of transportation expects to open road for “essential travel only” from noon-8 p.m. Friday.

Saanich man killed in Alberta shooting

Victim is 30-year-old Greater Victoria man, say police

Vancouver Island officials calling for higher speeding fines

Central Saanich motion could end up before UBMC delegates in Victoria later this fall

VIDEO: Drone footage shows extent of damage in Highway 4 rockslide

Tofino, Ucluelet still cut off from rest of the island, as crews work to repair roadway

Vernon woman suing McDonald’s for spilled coffee

Woman seeking nearly $10K, says employee failed to put lid on properly

Two women struck by vehicle at Nanaimo intersection

One woman taken to hospital with possible broken bones

PHOTOS: New BC Ferries hybrid vessels arrive in Victoria’s Inner Harbour

The ferries will run two gulf island routes in upcoming months

Shawnigan group challenging assessments, claiming soil dumps have lowered values

Neighbours raise water quality, property value issues

Six months to Francophone Games, 600 volunteers needed

Online applications open on Jan. 14

Affordable housing for women and children coming to downtown Campbell River

Complex will be located by Rose Harbour, which serves the same demographic and has long waiting list

Cowichan Tribes buys Genoa Bay Farm

First Nation wants to revert property back to reserve land

Diners’ health tax not catching on in B.C., restaurant group says

Small businesses look for options to cover employer health tax

Most Read