No, Halloween costumes are not appropriate for school
With Halloween just around the corner, many students are planning how to dress up with their friends. However, because of the gore, inappropriateness, and disruption it can bring, Halloween costumes are not appropriate for school. Halloween costumes can violate the Bernards High School dress code, which would go against school policy. Some halloween costumes may not only be inappropriate and gore, but also distracting. The dress code, located in the student handbook states “no dress may be unduly distracting to an orderly teaching/learning process.” Many costumes would break this rule and be a disturbance to teachers and students, taking time away from class. Prior years at BHS, students have been seen dressed up as zombies and other frightening things, wearing a full face of scary attire and makeup. Doing this is a huge distraction to the education of the students and can also make the students and teachers feel intimidated. Nobody wants to feel intimidated when they are trying to learn.
How are students supposed to focus on schoolwork when they are sitting in a class where their classmates are dressed up as scary or offensive things? How are teachers supposed to focus on teaching their classes when they have their students dressed up and distracted? Halloween should not be something that overshadows learning. Senior Beatrice Pocher said, “halloween costumes should not be worn in school because it can break the school dress code and it may make some students feel uncomfortable or distracted.”
Not only can costumes be inappropriate and gorey, but they can make students and teachers feel offended. “Articles of clothing which have indecent, suggestive, hateful, biased or offensive writings, pictures, or slogans…” are not allowed was stated in the student handbook. Some costumes may be offensive and make others feel uncomfortable, which is not how students or teachers should feel. School is a place to learn, not a place to feel uneasy. People may say that celebrating halloween is a fun part of childhood and should be celebrated. It is completely okay to celebrate, just outside of school. Senior Monica Pluas said,” I feel that wearing halloween costumes to school can upset and scare people. Costumes should be worn outside of the school.”
In addition, schools should not celebrate Halloween out of respect for the students and their families that do not participate in the holiday. If the students and their families don’t participate, then that might make them feel left out by seeing all of their peers dressed up. In addition, it can be perceived as offensive that people are celebrating that holiday in school. School should not be a place where students are feeling excluded. Although it’s not a religious holiday, it’s definitely religion-adjacent. Some p
eople see it as a church-and-state issue. The purpose of school is not to promote or celebrate holidays within the classroom. Holidays should be celebrated at home with families.
Wearing halloween costumes should not be permitted because of how offensive, inappropriate, gore, and distracting they can be. Dressing up and celebrating halloween has a time and place, and should be celebrated after school, with families.
Yes, Halloween costumes are appropriate for school
Halloween is the one time of the year where students are allowed to dress however they want within the dress code. Students coming to school in costume has been a tradition in high schools all over the country for decades. Halloween costumes are absolutely appropriate for school and are important when it comes to maintaining the school spirit.
There is no harm in having students come to school dressed up for Halloween. Even if a few students come in costumes that could be deemed as “inappropriate,” it is such a small group that they should not represent the whole school. The entire student body should not be punished for what a few people do. Besides, it is extremely unlikely that anyone would bring actual weapons or wear any costumes that could physically endanger people. Also, if any students are caught in “improper” costumes, they could simply be asked to change. As long as no one is in any kind of danger, the costumes should be allowed.
Freedom of expression is also a key factor. Students have the right to dress however they please and banning costumes puts a limitation on that. Mr. Neigel said, “At the elementary school level, I think it is cruel not to allow students to dress up as little kids get so excited for their costume.” There would be waves of parents and kids coming in and arguing that their rights are being infringed upon and the school has no right to tell the students what they can and cannot wear. If the school restricted what students wore for Halloween or even prohibited it, it would create a huge mess that can be easily avoided. Heather Wright, a junior, pointed out, “It’s just easier to let kids to dress up for Halloween.” Also, if some students do not want to dress up, they have the option of coming to school in their normal clothes. That is the beauty of it: no one is forced to do anything they do not want to do. They can either show up in costume, or opt out. Everyone is happy.
A possible issue at hand, however, is that the costumes could be seen as distracting when class is in session. In reality, the act of dressing up for Halloween is no different than dressing up during spirit week. People during spirit week come in with tutus and onesies and sometimes full-blown costumes to match the theme of the day. It is hardly any different than putting on a costume on Halloween. When looking at the details for both, they are almost identical. One is just a national holiday while the other only takes place within the school. They are both for fun and to have the students possibly enjoy their day a little bit more. There is no reason that this tradition should be considered inappropriate.
All in all, it is just very entertaining to see all of the students dress up for Halloween. Having everyone show up to school in costume or coming in groups with their friends is an awesome tradition. Sophomore, Riley Demarrais commented, “It’s one of the few times of the year that it is fun to come to school” Halloween costumes are completely appropriate for school and dressing up is a custom that should continue.