Halloween at School

Updated on October 24, 2011
M.O. asks from Springfield, GA
19 answers

My sons elementary school is having a Halloween party but they can't dress up. That to me is the best part. Anyone else have kids in school that aren't allowing dress up?

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answers from Dallas on

It is a craaaazy day anyway because the kids are so excited about trick or treating. l totally understand why teachers don't want kids to dress up. Trying to keep them focused is hard enough on Halloween without costumes. Plus, most Halloween costumes are pretty cheaply made and can easily get ripped on the playground. Some are big and bulky homemade costumes that just aren't appropriate because kids can't sit at their desks and work. Some are IMPOSSIBLE to get out of without help in order to go to the bathroom. Spills at lunch happen. The list of reasons why costumes at school aren't a good idea could go on and on.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Get some parents together and fight it . Probably some parent complained and now they have taken it away. I love Halloween, we always had a policy no costumes with guns, or any weapons that was all. Some people need to get a life and let the kids have fun. At my preschool we do a parade and a trunk or treat. All of my staff decorate the trunks of their car, we fill them with goodies and after the parade the kids trunk or treat and fill their bags. Great memories!! I just don't get why parents have to ruin everything lol!! What's the harm!! It's not to late, try to get parents together, go to the principal see what you can do to make the change. Good luck!!

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Rochester on

A lot of schools are not allowing the kids to wear costumes anymore. And after volunteering at school to help the teacher with many of the parties they have throughout the school year I know it's for good reasons. Imagine you are the teacher of 20-25 5 or 6 year olds and all of them need help getting their costumes on. By the time you get them all dressed the day is over! And just think of all the costume parts (belts, masks, hats, magic wands) that get misplaced and left at school after the buses leave. Some parents think the teacher should have notice their child left his hat on the floor over by the sink. And what about the child that is dressing as a pirate and is carrying a big sword. You just know he will be "stabbing" all his classmates. And don't forget about the little princess that was sitting on the floor and when she got up her dress ripped so bad she won't be able to use it later that evening for trick or treating.

Put yourself in the shoes of the teacher. You might understand why she has to set certain rules.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Cincinnati on

At my son's public kindergarten, it is on a class by class basis. Apparently, we got stuck with a bunch of kids in our class who are "offended" by Halloween. So, we get to have a nice PC "fall party". Another kid that goes to the same school and is in the same grade (a friend of my son's) doesn't have any kids that are "offended" by Halloween. His class gets to dress up and have a Halloween party. Bunch of BS if you ask me.
My two younger sons attend a private, Christian preschool. They are both having Halloween parties and dressing up (non-scary costumes, of course).
Just to add, I went to the same public school system that my kindergartner attends and when I went there, EVERYONE and EVERY CLASS had a Halloween party and we ALL dressed up. ....And <GASP> we had a THANKSGIVING party and a CHRISTMAS program! Don't you just love how the times have changed (I'm only 30, so this wasn't 100 years ago!)?

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

I am 30 years old and my schools, nor my husband's never allowed dress up when we were kids, so it's nothing new, even if we did have a little class party. I can only imagine how annoying and difficult it would be for the teachers to have to regulate it all day, missing and breaking accessories, inappropriate and/or difficult to manage costumes and all that. You can always get a cute little Halloween tshirt for your child to wear that day. Our schools do have a Fall festival/Halloween party that Friday night though, so they still have fun. It really has nothing to do with religion, but convenience and focusing on the child's education.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

I wish I could post the entire notice that my younger boys' school sent home because I love their school. They can wear costumes but no weapons, blood, or masks that cover the face. The notice does read "please use a costume that would not frighten our 4-8 year old students" which I think it a reasonable request. They have a school-wide parade around the outside of school an hour before school lets out and parents can come and watch and wave. We also do "Trunk or Treat" and that's this Friday night. Each grade level has different activities and directions about weather or not to wear or bring the costume to school on Halloween. Last year when we walked to school the PA system was playing Halloween music inside and outside school. I love that this school really gets into Halloween.

The last line of this note from the principal reads "we are a school of small children, and we believe that it is important to stop and have a little fun once in a while." Amen to that!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

Ours but I'm glad. Some of the costumes and accesories are too gory and scary and look too real for my taste.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Many don't and for many reasons. The PRIMARY reason is that costumes are distracting and can be dangerous on the playground or in gym. Not only that, lots of "tween" costumes are inappropriate for school and would be worn regardless of "memos" and "letters home". I had a 5th grader show up to school on Halloween dressed in a bustier and complete make-up, claiming she was "Kat Van D from LA Ink". When I called home, mom yelled at me because it was her child's costume and she wasn't going to just buy a special one for school b/c we had a more stringent dress code for that day. Guess what happened? The next year, no costumes.

I grew up attending a small prep school where we had tons of "dress up" days, but Halloween was not one of them. I wasn't deprived and didn't feel like I missed out on anything. The Kindergarten students brought their costumes and changed for their costume parade through the hallways. It was cute and each teacher handed out treats to them.

We had fun with our Halloween parties and my mom always managed to find some kind of Halloween hair accessory for us. It's really not that big of a deal.

My son is in preschool and is wearing his costume to school that day, per their memo. If they had said "no costumes", I would have sent him in to school in his skeleton shirt and not really thought twice about it.

Different schools, different concerns.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Eau Claire on

Ours had a night activity where they could dress up and are only having a party with "fall clothing" during the day. I think it's becoming more common since not all families can afford costumes.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Orlando on

When I taught our school did not allow costumes. It had nothing to do with parents or religion, it was because we were trying to teach the children. We were a uniform public school and uniforms were required daily to minimize distractions. Halloween is a great fun holiday for kids, after school. They are in school to learn, dressing up in costumes excites and distracts, it should be saved for afterschool.
The school I was working at always did a dress up themed event the week of Halloween so that the kids had an opportunity to wear their costumes to the school (though after school hours) The kids were also able to trick or treat from all the teachers. It was always a good time.
When I was in fourth grade we also did "living bookreports" they just happened to be preformed on Oct. 31. :)

Sounds like I'm the only one so far, but I do NOT think schools (aside from preschools and maybe college) should allow dress up. School is for learning.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Where my kids attend, they dress up after lunch instead of having lunch recess. Many of the kids are picked up by their parents at the lunch bell. (Kids who can't go home due to working parents, bring their costumes to school and dress up around 12:30.)The ones that do go home and dress up and come back by 1:10. Then student council puts on a Halloween news story via the televisions in each classroom. Then at 1:30 it's an all school parade which takes almost 30 minutes. They walk around the school and parents show up with their cameras. Then from 2 til 3:15, the room moms have parties for the kids. It's so much fun!!

My nephews just told me that their school does not do anything for Halloween. (They're in second grade.) I like that my kids get to do what they do at school on Halloween. They will have such fun memories! I am sure they'll miss it when they enter middle school.)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

My daughters' school had dress up but you had to dress up as a character in a book and bring the book in to school to explain your costume.

Many religious groups object to some aspects of halloween so schools are downplaying it.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Cleveland on

Wow, that's so sad.

At our school, we have a whole festival! The Halloween Festival takes place at night.

During the week before the Festival, all of the children carve pumpkins in class. Then the pumpkins are put out in the meadow and lit that night as a path to follow from one "station" to the next. The "stations" are where the children get their treats.

Each class chooses a theme for their station, then creates a setting for that theme. Last year my daughter's class did a ghost pirate ship, which we made out of heavy cardboard and wood, and painted black, then used glow in the dark paint to outline it. Her teacher dressed as a pirate, and handed out the treats. It was awesome. For my son's class - since they were studying Ancient Greece - we made a mini-Parthenon and dressed his teacher as Athena (to hand out the treats). This year, since my daughter's class is learning about farming, we chose Johnny Appleseed for the theme. Her teacher is going to dress up like Johnny - complete with pot on head! - and hand out apples for the treats.

Anyway, each class makes their station - always very creative and cool - and the teachers hand out the treats - which have to be nut free and preferably as little sugar as possible - and all the families do the Pumpkin Lantern Walk together to see the stations and get the treats.

Afterward, we have a big bonfire and cider and baked goods. And the children run around like banshees! : ) Very, very fun and looked forward to by the parents as much as the children.

As for costumes, the limitations are: nothing gruesome; they can be scary, but not too scary (because our school is Pre-K through 8th); and NO media figures. (Because our school is anti-TV/video games/computers until the children are in high school.)

I love our school -- it is so awesome!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

THat's what I feel about it.

In one school my kids went to they did not dress up or have any parties whatesoever. Even Valentine's Day was eliminated. No one could even bring birthday cupcakes.
I actually ripped them out of there and put them into a Christian school. Halloween was not celebrated with dressup, but they had all sorts of parties and Christmas was huge.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

When my daughter was little she would wear dress up clothes on Halloween. I can't say for sure but I think every year we had to go buy a new costume.

It is a day they can "sort of" dress up in my mind. You know, silly things that make them smile, like a Halloween tee-shirt and pants, a tutu skirt over leggings, any thing they want except the actual costume they are wearing out that night. But this is a normal thing every day for some kids. My friends little girl dresses oddly every day and fully enjoys putting things together I would never let ours wear out of the house.


answers from Houston on

My daughter has a theme for every day this week(the week before Halloween), and has since 1st grade. Today is "shade out drugs" she wears shades and a red t-shirt. I dont know the rest of the days yet but shes bringing home a sheet today to tell me. Last year the other ones were "sports", role model day" and "dont match day"



answers from Washington DC on

Seems odd. Then why not call it a Fall Festival instead?

Even my DD's Christian preschool allowed costumes within parameters and the local schools here allow them as long as they don't include masks. It's up to the school about the costumes, but if they aren't allowed, don't call it Halloween, IMO.


answers from Cincinnati on

Letter sent home Friday said no costumes at the party this Friday. I was floored!!!!



answers from Los Angeles on

My school does literacy day on halloween. As long as it is not scary you can dress up however you want as long as it is a character from a book! You do have to bring in the book and carry it around for the parade. I thought it was weird at first but it was a creative (academic) solution to those who do not celebrate halloween. In addition to halloween festivities in the day they do celebrate reading and books so it is not a completely wasted day.

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