• Out with ‘Orange & Black’, Bring Back Hallowe’en

    Despite its ‘scary’ nature, a North American tradition shouldn’t be a frightening thing to celebrate and have some  spooky fun with in our public schools.

    I treasure the kids that I have in my life. I treasure the time I get to spend with families that get together for hockey parties, for Hallowe’en trick or treating, Christmas parties, and so on. It is always great fun.

    So I understand the frustration of parents who struggle with Principals and School Boards that have, at best, inconsistent policies around how our cultural celebrations are marked in school.

    There are many cases across the system where students are able to participate in Hallowe’en by dressing up in costumes one year and the following year these celebrations are focused only on “black and orange days”. The inconsistency in this policy was the result of  the decisions around how to celebrate Hallowe’en being left up to the individual principals.

    As participants in our children’s education we need make sure that our policies are consistent, reasonable and best represent the values and needs of the communities we serve. Is this inconsistent Hallowe’en policy successful at this?

    More importantly, how are we teaching our kids to enjoy cultural diversity when we take the traditional celebrations out of these days?

    I have friends from many different cultural and faith backgrounds and we agree that we not only need to accept our cultural, ethnic and faith differences but celebrate those differences. We have to be mindful in our education system not to let political correctness get carried too far which in the end does not benefit anyone.

    I believe that we should allow kids participate and celebrate in Hallowe’en festivities by dressing up in costumes. It is an opportunity for them to grow and develop in their creativity and imagination.

    So, if elected, I pledge to work to bring Hallowe’en back to our schools across the board. I will work with the existing board committees to develop a consistent policy. We will need some parameters around what kind of costumes are acceptable and what traditional activities can be safely held in our classrooms, but we need to let kids be kids and have some fun with these celebrations.

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