Halloween in High School: Is It Time for Schools to Rethink Halloween?

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October 31st  is coming faster than ever this year, and schools are once again faced with the decision of whether or not they will celebrate Halloween.

Every year most high school students want to celebrate Halloween, but because of  expenses and safety reasons, a large amount of them simply can’t. If high schools provided a safe and fun environment for students to celebrate Halloween, less kids would be going to parties that involve drugs and alcohol. Most teens go to Halloween parties that have drugs and alcohol and high schools throwing them instead could prevent, or at least lessen, the possibility of kids getting involved in that environment. When asked if he thought a Halloween party thrown by the school would be a safer alternative to house parties Jerome High School teacher Mr. Jay said “Yeah there would be a lot more supervision and a pretty different atmosphere”. A Halloween party in high schools could provide a safer alternative to what kids are currently doing for Halloween. 

Not only would this give kids a safe place to have fun, it would also give them a chance to socialize with other kids their age. Social and emotional skill development is very important in adolescents and children. When kids join together in festive activities, like trick-or-treating, or Halloween parties, it gives them a chance to develop those skills that they will need for the rest of their lives. This helps kids develop and build self-esteem and good mental health, which is something many teens struggle with. It also helps kids learn how to make new friendships, which is a very important skill to have. According to an article on the Daily Sun, Seventy-three percent of more than 2,000 respondents said kids should stop trick-or-treating between the ages of 12 and 17,” they go on to claim that instead, “everyone, regardless of age, should get candy on Halloween.” This is a conflict many teenagers struggle with because they feel self-conscious for doing a child-like celebration for Halloween, but they still want to have fun. Having a party at school would eliminate this struggle because it would give teens a place to have fun and still be able to celebrate Halloween.

One of the most memorable qualities of Halloween is when you were young and always got to dress up for Halloween in elementary school and you got to decide exactly who or what you wanted to be that year. You could be anything you wanted. The sky’s the limit. 

According to an article on Magnus Health, “There are 2 main reasons as to why so many schools are choosing to forego hosting Halloween celebrations: the fear that the festivities will make some students and staff feel alienated due to various personal or cultural and religious reasons.” Some schools stopped celebrating Halloween, because they are afraid of parents getting angry for religious reasons. However there is separation from church and state and religious values should not have influence over what a public school does or does not do. If a child wishes not to attend the party then they may simply not attend. Attendance would not be an issue at these parties as Halloween is one of the most beloved holidays, especially to teens. Students at Jerome High School Paige Whitaker and Brianna Mathis responded with “absolutely yes” and “100% I would go” when asked if they would be interested in attending a Halloween party put on by the school. Paige Whitaker provided a few additional wise words in regard to a Halloween party. Those words being “it’s lit” 

Most schools now-a-days do not celebrate Halloween or have Halloween parties. They should definitely consider it because a good deal of opportunities come along with the celebration. If schools celebrate holidays like Christmas and Valentines day then there should be no issue with holding a Halloween party. There are many interesting, educational, and historical points surrounding the holiday as well. There is a stigma surrounding any Halloween events in school  outside of giving out candy, seemingly due to its pagan roots. However, schools seem to have no issue celebrating Christmas, arguably one of the most religious holidays out there. A Halloween party provides a creative outlet for kids, creates an educational opportunity, and even can be an opportunity for cultural education and celebration, not to mention if it was hosted after school kids wouldn’t miss out on “learning time” and if they didn’t want to go they wouldn’t have to or feel obligated to. The cultural opportunity comes from the inclusion of el Dia de los Muertos also known as day of the dead. Which a number of schools have done and had success with. This is an especially good opportunity for Jerome high school considering over 30% of the population is Hispanic. 

Some people believe that teens have outgrown trick-or-treating or may be embarrassed to go. Ava Manelis says, “It’s definitely true—we can wear costumes to school and out with our friends on the fun night of Halloween. But, some people feel as if they have grown out of the magic of wearing a Halloween costume.” Which in some cases is true, but there should still be something fun for the kids that still enjoy that. A high school Halloween party would be the perfect alternative for this, because you don’t have to dress up in a costume, you can just wear a nice dress or suit, and it’s still a safe and fun thing for kids to do Halloween night.

  A well said argument by Charleston Express says, “Just take a second to think … would you rather them be out drinking and driving putting not only their life in danger but possibly you and/or your child’s life in danger?… I’d rather see my teen doing this rather than something dangerous. Just because they’re 16 doesn’t mean they don’t deserve to have a little safe, legal fun.”