Halloween costume ban reversed for Springfield, N.J. schools

Friday, 28 October 2011 14:21
jackolantern102811_optBY PAM LOBLEY

Hey, kids, all set for Halloween? Going to wear your costume to school and show it to all your friends? You bet you are – even if you live in Springfield, N.J.!

Yes, Superintendent Michael Davino has reversed his decision to ban costumes on Halloween and the party is back on in Springfield.

Mr. Davino and the school board had originally cancelled the costume-wearing on Halloween, saying that kids have plenty of time to celebrate the holiday after school, and that the costumes interfere with the learning day. Well, duh. That’s the whole point.

Now he changed his mind. “I have come to understand that the elementary schools, without my knowledge, were planning Halloween parties on Monday," Davino wrote. "Having discovered that, and having heard feedback from the community, I agree that there seems little point in preventing children from wearing costumes because these parties are taking up educational time anyway.”

This guy is a superintendent of public elementary schools and he didn’t know that parties are planned on Halloween? Is this his first year in the educational field?

It seems like Halloween this year is not only bringing out the goblins, but the clueless as well. Perhaps you’ve heard that Connecticut State Representative Tim Larsen wants to introduce legislation to move Halloween to the last Saturday of the October. He wants it to be a floating holiday, not set on October 31. It’s seem Congressman Killjoy thinks it’s too stressful for parents to have to rush home from work early to take their kids trick or treating.

OK, people, let me explain. THE WHOLE POINT of a holiday is that you STOP what you’re normally doing and break your routine to HAVE FUN WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS.

And by the way, this is the first time I’ve ever heard of a politician complaining about taking off work early to go home. It seems to me that every time there’s a vote pending they can’t get out of the office fast enough.

Halloween does have historical significance. It is the Eve of All Saints Day, and various cultures have believed that this night is the one night all year when the dead can rise and walk the earth. Moving it to Saturday would completely ignore this legacy, making it even less educational than it already is.

My very favorite Halloweens are the ones that occur during the week. The kids come home from school already in costume, they have a little rest, and we head out to trick or treat about 4 p.m. It is still light out. My husband takes off early and we have delightful, family time that we wouldn’t normally have. By 6 p.m. the kids are tired, and we can’t even lift the candy bags because they’re so heavy, so we go home. Often we have friends over for fried chicken, the grownups have cocktails, and the kids play in the backyard with flashlights. Everybody goes home at 8:00 p.m. If that doesn’t sound fun to you, get help.

When Halloween is on a Saturday, the kids start trick or treating at noon. I am not kidding. I was practically still in my pajamas two years ago when Halloween was on a Saturday, and the doorbell rang. I didn’t even have the candy ready. I know kids that trick or treated for so many hours that they went home, emptied their bags, and went out again to fill them up. Gross.

If Halloween was on a Saturday, I guarantee you it would still be celebrated in the schools, probably on the Friday before. Now you would have TWO different times to get your kid into a costume and take their pictures, and it just becomes overkill. Halloween is just fine the way it is, thank you. It does not need to moved, cancelled or in any other way “improved.”

Calling all Ghouls: if you dead can read this, Tim Larsen’s district is East Hartford and South Windsor. Haunt his house and scare some sense into him. You can skip Michael Davino’s house in Springfield. Then come over to mine for some fried chicken.

Pam Lobley writes the “Now That’s Funny” column. Sign up for her mailing list at www.pamlobley.com.


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