Scary Stuff

It must be something in the water out there. After judging the term “early-school-leaver” to be a more appropriate (re: sensitive) label for the high school dropout (a slur, said they), the Calgary School Board has taken another giant step into the Dark Ages.

Two of its elementary schools have banned scary costumes, including weapons, violent imagery and masks of any description, from in-school Halloween celebrations. In fact, the staff have neatly hijacked the occasion from its relatively harmless pagan origins, and recast it as a “caring” assembly. Lo!

Don’t get me wrong, caring is important, but if they were going to shoehorn it into an occasion, surely Valentine’s Day or Family Day would have been more appropriate. Or they simply could have chosen a day at random during the school year. What difference would it make, unless you are a crackpot whose veins are coursing with politically correct righteousness?

I’ve met the type before. Some years ago, parents and staff at my daughter’s private school petitioned to ban witches and ghosts, because they promoted the occult. That mob even objected to black crayons in the classroom—the preferred colour for all things evil. It was our cue to rescue our little one from the clutches of PC evil.

But you don’t have to look very hard to find comprehensive studies showing that children are not only attracted to all things “scary,” but in fact use the experience of being scared to help them develop into sane and sensible adults. In other words, we need to be scared as part of our early development. It’s not for nothing that the horror genre, in all its mediums, is most popular with young people. As adults, we already know how frightening the real world is, so we lose interest in it, as a stimulus—substituting red wine to dull the fear.

If a boy dresses up as King Arthur, wearing crown and sword, is he promoting violence or honour? Evil or chivalry? If a girl dons a witch’s costume, is she accepting or promoting the occult, or is she is merely dressing up? Is the Fairy Godmother’s star-tipped wand a weapon? God help the poor child who wants to be Spiderman for a day!

It’s only the grownups who read more into it, which is a shame for those Calgary children who will be denied the opportunity to celebrate Halloween, and forced instead to talk (or listen to talk) about “caring.” Once again, the public school system demonstrates that it knows little about education, or children. A little superstition might just help these school leaders stop over-thinking things, and permit the children, one day a year, to be children. The real “scary” stuff is misuse of political correctness.



About Mike Morey

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3 responses to “Scary Stuff

  • Anna

    Halloween is the only holiday, secular or religeous, that truly belongs to children. They choose the costumes, they chooses the candy, they demand the candy and get to parade wildly about their neighbourhoods and perform in an improvised, multifarious annual production. Is it any wonder that it’s the second-highest money maker for retailers?

    What these priggish parents want to do is control, schedule and temper their childrens’ childhoods into some kind of mediocre social regime. This will provide the illusion that they care about their development when they do not, in fact, even understand it.

    Long before Christ, there was some version of Easter, Christmas and Halloween. What appeals to children (and adults, too) is precisely the non-Christian persistance of a holiday that invokes fun, rather that solemnity or stress.

  • jettelamorey

    Sigh. Why can’t we just let kids be kids. They have delicious fun dressing up in so-called ghoulish costumes precisely because they can take control of the scary. Can you imagine a Hallowe’en with only bunnies, clowns and tigers… no wait, aren’t clowns and tigers too scary too? Argh!

  • Aaron

    I drink the water out here and I am not insane; that is my opinion though, coming from the dark regions of my own mind. Having stated this; it can’t be the water so what is it? Perhaps its the build up of toxins in the brain from a pour soul deprived of experiancing this as a child or conversely one who has experianced it and has experianced trauma both situations without support to help him/her through, and I do not mean professional help but rather good parenting. Either way we are lacking proper parental leadership, guidance and support. If there is an event to which your child may be traumatised based on your belief structure, you have two choices. Allow your child to experiance the event and then sit with your child to guide them through understanding what they experianced, or deprive them of the experiance and sit with your child to guide them through understanding what they didn’t experiance and your reason why you deprived them of the oppotunity. Do not and I mean do not try to force others to comform to your belief structure. Was I clear enough? DO NOT.

    On another note, to blame it on immigrants and how the costumes might scare or offend some, is hilarious, hilariously wrong. The comment clearly originating from a ignorant and sheltered individual. Most of us in Canada would be severly traumatised to witness events that occur in other nations, let alone our children.

    We are tame by all standards in Canada, sometimes to our detriment as in the above. Anyway I am getting thirsty, I need more water.

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