I’m coming straight out from the start and declaring that I loathe Halloween.
As far as I’m concerned, everything about it is bad.
At best, it’s another tacky commercial venture, grossly Americanised, piggybacking on several genuine festivals from ancient cultures.
At worst, it encourages antisocial behaviour, is potentially dangerous — particularly for younger kids, and quite frankly goes against Christian values.
Yep, I’ve said it. The C word.
I have no problem if people want to celebrate Halloween in their own way, so long as they don’t cause any damage or freak out my kids.
What I object to is the use of school time to ‘celebrate’ it.
(Particularly when it’s not even done on 31st October).
Yes… on Friday 21st October, my youngest daughter’s infant school (in case it needs clarifying, that’s a school for kids aged 3-7) will allow Halloween ‘fancy dress’ costumes all day.
That’s SEVEN hours of tacky or even frightening costumes.
As if that weren’t enough, they’re doing a sponsored walk in the afternoon.
Parents are being told to dress kids up in their Halloween costumes, then pester people for money in order to raise funds for new outdoor equipment.
Oh, and parents are expected to dress up and attend this farce as well.
So many things wrong with this.
1. My kids don’t own Halloween costumes because we don’t *do* Halloween. So if we don’t want our daughter to be completely excluded, we have to spend money and purchase something for a festival we don’t even agree with.
2. Absolutely no way any other family members are dressing up in scary costumes. Ever.
3. There’s an inference that every child is expected to raise at least £10 in sponsorship.
OK, it’s not explicitly stated that way, but kids who do raise it will be given a certificate.
In other words, kids who don’t raise enough money won’t get a certificate.
4. This is all taking place just weeks after the clown craze started.
Yes, I know we don’t just stop doing things because of some nasty things going on, but is this kind of event really wise?
5. I object to school fundraisers.
I’m all for raising money for worthy charities, but I am fed up with parents being expected to contribute to school funds when that is the job of government (to whom we have already paid taxes).
Yes, I know schools don’t get nearly enough money. So why not get some enterprising soul to find local businesses to contribute funds?
I’d actually rather schools just said: “Look, we need £1000 this year for this stuff. Can you help us?”
Instead of which we are expected to be involved with all manner of fundraising events.
(Don’t get me started on cake sales where parents are expected to bake the cakes, take them in to school, and then buy them back!)
We thought we’d got away with Halloween this year, after the junior school made no mention of any dressing up, parties or such like.
Then the infant school serves up a double whammy.
So now we have the happy task of either excluding our daughter (leading to tears from her and possibly a fine from the council for taking a child out of school during term time) or sending her and just giving the school a tenner to be done with it.
What’s the Halloween equivalent of “Bah humbug”?