Political Correctness Out of Control: School District Cancels Halloween Fun

SAD-PUMPKINAnyone who knows me knows that I’m not what you might call a “politically correct” person.  Not that I go out of my way to offend people, I just think this hypersensitivity to damn near everything that’s engulfing our country is getting out of control.

A perfect example of this is a story I ran across going on in Pennsylvania.  Apparently a local elementary school sent out a notice saying that all Halloween activities would be banned from the district.  They’ve now clarified that the activities will be banned “during school hours” and it will be up to individual schools whether they hold any activities outside of school hours.

This decision is in response to the view by some that Halloween has “religious” implications.  Seriously?  I mean really?

First,  it’s always annoyed me when I’ve met these parents who keep their kids from anything to do with Halloween.  You know what Halloween is to a kid?  It’s a time to dress up as something “spooky” or fun and get a ton of candy.

That’s it.  

It’s not some slap in the face to any religion, some demonic ritual or tied to any other meaning than costumes and candy.

Some are arguing that parties and parades have been canceled to keep the focus on the classroom and such events should be done before or after class.  Because taking an hour to have some fun in school is really going to negatively impact our educational rankings, right?

This is the kind of stuff that drives me insane.  It’s Halloween — who cares.  Let kids have fun, let them party, let them dress up—let them be kids!  Pretty much anybody and everybody my age or older remembers dressing up for Halloween and having Halloween parties at school.  I’ve yet to speak to or read about anybody who was “emotionally scarred” from those.

But anyone who denies their kids the right to have fun at Halloween, claiming that it’s some “religious holiday,” needs to have their head checked.  Especially if they go so far as to complain about school events which celebrate the American cultural tradition of millions of people dressing up in costumes on October 31 every year.

Now I get if you want to shield your children from some of the aspects of Halloween that might be a little unsavory such as horror movies, the darker side of what some claim the day represents or situations along those lines.  But for kids, Halloween is just about costumes, parties and candy.

That’s it.

Let these kids have fun.  Let them be kids.

This politically correct nonsense from some is trying desperately to suck all the fun out of life.  It seems people in today’s America can’t celebrate a holiday, make a joke or open their mouths without offending someone.  I understand the evolution of sensitivity toward specific events, words or situations to a more developed sense of understanding and acceptance—but some of this stuff is just getting ridiculous.

On many levels, being “PC” has gotten completely out of control, and this is a perfect example of exactly that.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.

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  • Corwin02

    Most relitards cannot and will not make any compromise where it comes to their misguided beliefs. All have to suffer under their doctrine.

    • Pat

      To Corwin02 – I find once you attacked the person(s) (“relitards”) and not the message, you have lessened your ability to persuade people to you position on the message.

      • Shadow Laviolette

        he who is the first to accuse, is usually most guilty.

      • Pat

        I am not exactly sure what point you are trying to make, but on face value: Has that ever been tested? Are people who accuse someone of anything, murder, rape, spelling errors, usually the most guilty of said crimes, murder, rape, spelling errors? I will admit I am a terrible speller.

      • Bob Pineo

        Oh, the horror!

  • Ruby

    The funny thing is that the kids only learn that Halloween is “an issue” because the parents/school make it into one. I bet they don’t cancel Christmas though!

  • Mike

    I suspect that this is a retaliation for the perceived “war on Christmas” of misguided conservatives.

    • dave.lefevre

      Christmas also has pagan roots. It’s just another bit of cognitive dissonance that these people thrive on so much.

      • Sam Brosenberg

        Not just pagan roots, but it IS pagan. December 25th was the Roman festival of Sol Invictus, one of their Pantheonic Gods who was borne of the Sun God and a mortal woman. He was sent to earth, and killed by men, but he rose from the dead three days later and then ascended into the proper Pantheon on Mount Olympus. The 25th was celebrated as a winter festival where wealthy Romans would essentially get drunk and exchange gifts.

        Does this story ring any bells with anybody? It pre-dates Christianity by like 200 years.

      • Pipercat

        … and don’t forget those Vestal Virgins!!

  • cathairallover

    Santa Claus, Christmas trees and Jingle Bells are just as much “American cultural tradition” as costumes and Trick or Treat, yet they are also being banned from many schools as too “religious.” This is just as stupid. People need to think before whining about Santa Claus in schools, because other things can be taken away from children on the same grounds.

  • Loki61089

    Mkay… I can see where people would say halloween has religious implications… It’s also a Christian holiday, called “All Hallow’s Eve” (All Saint’s Day).

    “Halloween or Hallowe’en (/ˌhæləˈwin, -oʊˈin, ˌhɒl-/; a contraction of “All Hallows’ Evening”), also known as All Hallows’ Eve, is a yearly celebration observed in a number of countries on October 31, the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows (or All Saints) and the day initiating the triduum of Hallowmas, the time in the liturgical year dedicated to remembering the dead, including saints (hallows), martyrs, and all the faithful departed believers.

    According to many scholars, All Hallows’ Eve is a Christianized feast initially influenced by western European harvest festivals, and festivals of the dead with possible pagan roots, particularly the Celtic Samhain. Other scholars maintain that it originated independently of Samhain and has solely Christian roots.”

    I feel this is just another attempt from the “Religious Zealots”, mostly on the right but also on the left, to try and force their faith on others, even though they don’t even listen to everything about their faith and only pick and choose what they believe. It’s not a Satanic holiday, it’s a Christian holiday, and it’s barely celebrated in that manner anymore. No one I know personally, follows Halloween like it was originally celebrated, nor do I think very many people here in the US follow it in that manner. It’s a day for kids to dress up in costumes and have fun while getting free candy now; and many adults even join in on the fun. So why are we throwing a fit about this holiday after so many years?

    • emigab

      Really, halloween had christian implications in the middle ages, but lost most of them centuries ago. The holiday today is more a mix of various cultural traditions from a variety of cultures that have come together and evolved into a party and pop culture holiday.

      There are still some religious implications in that All Saints Day and All Souls Day are till November 1 and 2, though they are not commonly celebrated in America except by Catholics. The celebration of these in Mexico is where we get Day of the Dead though.

      There is also the modern Pagan community. This is the holiday of Samhain for Pagans, and it is a time of death/rebirth. Yes, it is pulled from the ancient Celtic tradition, but I think many in the pagan community embrace the modern cultural aspects, and really don’t make an issue of the school parties unless the parties have religious overtones (for any holiday, actually). Obviously, this is a generalization of the Pagan community, as they have their crazies too, just like any religion.

      So basically, there were religious implications to the holiday in ancient times, because there were religious implications to everything then, and in the middle ages there were christian implications added on to what were likely fall festivals still happening in many places (that is a guess, though likely) that had probably lost whatever ritualistic, religious implications they began with, then we started losing the christian side of it, but a lot of the traditions and activities were still happening. Then, it started getting popular in America, and pop culture got into it and brought it to the holiday it is now. So there have been, and can be religious implications, but it is not satanic, and most of the stuff anyone is doing in schools has no religious implication to it at all.

  • myuninflatedcentsworth

    I live in a state whose public schools canceled all of these activities years ago. I am all for kids having a good time, but when I ask myself if school needs to be party central, I come up with, probably not. With the multiculturalism of most cities and children with food alergies, maybe it is best to leave all of the celebratory events outside of school. I do not agree, however, with the position taken by some that it is offensive to wish someone a happy specific hoiday. When someone gives me holiday wishes that may not be my own, I accept them in the spirit in which they were offered. I have come to realize that most of the time, being offended is a choice.

    • Sam Brosenberg

      Well said. If someone wishes me a Merry Christmas, I’ll wish them one right back, despite being Jewish. It’s about the spirit of the holiday and celebration, not the specific name or calendar date.

  • Jana

    Well….yes…it IS a major holiday for a particular religion. But you won’t find us screaming and carrying on because people are letting their kids dress up, have parties and generally have a great time scaring one another. HOWEVER you should note it is not an *official* government holiday where businesses and the like are closed for the day. So really…what’s the big deal? Oh I know…the schools and churches are TERRIFIED the kids might actually learn the truth about a much maligned holiday and religion. *slowly shaking head* When will humans grow up and stop being so PC about everything?

  • jfletch

    I think there’s a difference between “political correctness”, which is really about respect, and nonsense, which is what this is about. Let’s not confuse the two; the right does that enough as it is.

  • dave.lefevre

    These comments have been going on in Indiana for years and years. Usually there are Letters to the Editor in the papers with someone yelling redfaced about how Halloween is based on a “pagan festival.” Well, bringing up the face that Christmas is also a pagan festival either brings confused faces or emotional explosions.

    • Sam Brosenberg

      I love explaining the history of Christianity to people who claim to be Christians. They almost never have a clue what I am talking about.

      • Cathryn Sykes

        I love asking people who claim they “live by the word of the Bible” what happened to the Israelites who refused to quit worshiping the Golden Calf. “Oh, the ground split and flames came up and they fell, screaming, into Hell!” Uh….no. That’s the Cecil B. DeMille version from the movie “The Ten Commandments.” Very dramatic, very cinematic, yet not nearly as shocking as what actually happened. Which was Moses telling his followers to take out their knives and swords and slaughter the unbelievers…. their friends, their relatives, their family members, adults and children both. Which they did.
        Most people who “live by the word of the Bible” get little out-of-context snippets from their pastor once a week….and have never read the whole thing themselves.

      • Joseph Kool

        Hate to burst your bubble because I know you hate religion and you refuse to believe there can possibly be a greater being than that of yourself, but It’s not Christians that are complaning. It’s progressive liberal douchebags like yourself.

  • Cathryn Sykes

    The church near where I live wants the city government to cancel its Halloween Festival for the kids because it’s “pagan.” It’s the religionists who are yanking people’s chains here….not the secularists.

  • Al Roll

    Can’t have those Christian children taking part in Pagan rituals. 🙂

  • RosemaryPeppercorn

    Those types of parents aren’t “PC” about anything. They have been told by the Right Wing Conservative Born-again Evangelical IDIOTS that Halloween is anti-religious.

  • D Scott

    Did you also see the story about a school which banned cartwheels and football during recess??? same thing over nannying of our kids… Let Them Be KIDS!

  • Eldergothfather

    What a bunch of butt cakes….so fine NOW it’s a religion because the pansy assed x-tians NOW want to say it has religious implications to get ‘even’ because they believe there is a war on their overdone, bring out the x-mas decorations before halloween, santa in every mall, every x-mas carol, 24×7 christmas music starting now, made up x-tian christmas holiday. (that they stole from the pagans). Just remember this when there is yet another flurry of disapproval for having kids sing x-mas carols or perfom in e-mas pageants…The night of All Hallows Eve is the night BEFORE the religious holiday of All Saints Day! And yes, Halloween was also stolen from early earth based religions….but has since lost religeious implications a long long time ago but the effing x-tians won’t let it go.

  • ferretrunner

    It is a major holiday for one religion. It is Samhain, a day to remember those who came before, the last harvest festival (food), practice divination. The veil between the worlds is thinner. The religion is Wicca (and some forms of paganism in general). Just because it’s not “mainstream” does not mean it should be totally ignored.
    I agree, however, for most people it is not a religious holiday. It is for people and kids to dress up and have fun. Absolutely nothing wrong with that!

  • Sara Mostafavi

    You did NOT just use Fox New’s favourite phrase “Political correctness out of control”.

  • Diana Reichardt

    It’s the same way when it comes to Christmas Parties now called “Winter ” parties and no Easter parties. Some say its due to religion, some say it is an insult to the folks from overseas who now live here. I am sorry I do think it is a crock.

  • Keith G. Cooper

    Say what…no headless horseman at that school…well give me a pumpkin!

  • Andrea J. Quinn

    So, you have never heard of “Samhain”, celebrated on October 31st?

  • Mike Williams

    Halloween was another holiday/festival celebrated by non-Christians.
    The Christians then preempted the holiday so as to appease the heathen masses so they would convert to non-heathen masses and actually attend mass. Here are two other holidays that have “pagan” origins.
    Like Easter and Christmas there are some more but you get the point.

  • Jo Clark

    It’s not political correctness. It’s extreme religion.

  • Wow! In a nation know to have the fastest decline in levels of education raises issue with Halloween. How about making the fact that most USA high school graduates have the literacy equivalent of a grade 8 student so are unlikely to be able to fully comprehend what they read in this article? I guess attacking Halloween deflects attention.

  • Nancy McCarthy Baker

    Adult idiots take the fun out of fun if we let them. I bet they own lots of guns. Cuz, they really do fear the boogie man. To find him they just need to look in the mirror.

  • IcantstandtheiIdiocyAnymore

    I am constantly hearing how Christians are being attacked. What I see is Christians trying to rule the majority and force the rest of us to live by their beliefs. If you don’t want your kids celebrating Halloween then don’t let them but DO NOT force the rest of the world to live by your beliefs.