Students and parents angered by Halloween costume bans in Niagara School Boards

Many schools in the Niagara region are putting a ban on having their students wear Halloween costumes to school in order to accommodate those who may not celebrate the tradition but this has caused much conflict between parents and school staff.

At the Canadian Martyrs Elementary School in St Catharines, students in grades one to three will be allowed to wear their costumes in the afternoon but students in grade four and up are expected to come in regular school attire or to come in orange and black clothing. Many schools across the Niagara region in both the Public and Catholic school systems are opting for the same type of “spirit day” as opposed to having the students wear costumes. Many students have expressed how they feel it is unfair that they will not get to show their costumes off to their friends and parents have expressed the same sentiments.

“Kids should be allowed to wear their costumes, period, and in any grade. It’s one day, it’s meant to be a fun time”, Tracey Turvani, a mother of two students at the Catholic school told sources.

Both the Niagara Public and Catholic school boards leave it up to the principal to decide whether or not he or she will allow the students to wear their costumes. Al Creelman, the principal of the Canadian Martyrs school, expresses that Halloween has been carried this way for the last two years and that the students have a blast participating in theme-based activities for the day.

“We’ve looked at the origin of Hallowe’en from a Catholic point of view. We just felt… going this route would be best for all concerned,” Creelman told sources.

Similarly, McKay Public School in Port Colborne will not be allowing any of its students to wear Halloween costumes regardless of how young or old the students are.

One mother whose daughter attends the school says she will be holding a Halloween parade during school hours like the school has always done in the past and she’s hoping that other parents will join her, and her child on Halloween. She has expressed how this has been a tradition for many years and it is one she would like to see continue. Many of the parents of these schools have said that they will be taking their children out of school that day to join in the parade.

A standard Facebook post asks people what they think about the issue and whether or not children should be allowed to wear their costumes to school. Some posts suggest that celebrating the tradition is not necessary in schools and that it should be kept just for trick-or-treating, but most people think the ban is silly and that students should be allowed to wear their costumes.

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