Halloween In The Crosshairs of Political Correctness - Black and Orange Day

Halloween In The Crosshairs of Political Correctness - Black and Orange Day

Since 2008 some Ontario school boards expressed serious “concerns” with respect to the imagery and even the foodstuffs associated with Halloween. In fact, some schools in Ontario now refer to Halloween as “Black and Orange Day,” fearing the H-word itself will be as potentially offensive to certain groups as Christmas may be for some non-Christians.

Some Ontario school board policies outlined this potential politically incorrect scenario in their Teaching Resource for Dealing with Controversial and Sensitive Issues in Ontario District School Board Classrooms. This document outlined six reasons why Halloween isn’t as fun as you might think.

For instance:

1. “Halloween is a religious day of significance for Wiccans and therefore should be treated respectfully.”

According to a supervisor in an Ontario school board nobody knows how many students of the Wiccan faith attend Ontario schools who may or may not be offended..

2. “Peer and social/media consumer pressures target all children and their families as consumers of costumes, makeup, food products, etc. Many students and their families can feel this socio-economic marginalization keenly.”

If you are going to dress up for Halloween, make certain you can afford your costume! Costumes can cause peer pressure.

3. “The images and icons associated with consumer-oriented Halloween can come into conflict with some students’ and their families’ religious beliefs.”

Does dressing up as a zombie mock the resurrection of Christ? One school board official noted that “tombstones, the trivialization of death, and gore” are offensive to both Christians and Muslims. Wouldn’t it make more sense for that pupil to stay home on Oct. 31 rather than alter Halloween celebrations for the entire student body?

4. “The food products that are marketed heavily during the Halloween period can come into conflict with students’ and their families’ dietary habits.”

Certainly this is the biggest red herring put forth by the anti-Halloween camp. Since “offensive” food products are marketed all year long, surely it is within the bailiwick of parents to control such foodstuffs.

5. “Some students have had first-hand traumatic experiences of violence that make talking about death, ghosts, etc., extremely alienating.”

An Ontario school board has no tangible evidence to support the position that a rubber werewolf mask might “alienate” or “traumatize” a child who has previously experienced violence. Are we to assume children who have experienced trauma are forever incapable of embracing make-believe fun on Halloween?

6. “Many recently arrived students in our schools share no background cultural knowledge of trick-or-treating or the commercialization of death as ‘fun.’”

Forget Halloween. Surely “recently arrived students” have no cultural knowledge of Canadian history, the lyrics to the national anthem, or for that matter, the delayed offside rule in hockey. Isn’t it incumbent upon teachers to, well, teach the kids about Canadian culture?

Halloween is all about kids from all cultures and faiths dressing up and having fun and not on phantom concerns than quantifiable complaints.

Happy Black and Orange Day everyone!

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