Out: Halloween. In: Black and Orange Spirit Day

Wait… I thought we only did this at Christmas? Okay, we had to take a whack at Columbus day because… racism. But since when did we start politicizing Halloween?

Well, it’s happening. Or at least it’s happening in Massachusetts anyway. A school in the town of Walpole has canceled the Halloween parade and is replacing the celebration with, wait for it… Black and Orange Spirit Day. If you find yourself ready to leap into the comments and ask me what the heck that means, don’t bother. I haven’t a clue. (CBS Boston)

The decorations are out and Halloween is two weeks away but there’s controversy at Boyden Elementary School in Walpole. The school will not be having its annual Halloween costume parade this year.

“I think it’s a lot of political correctness,” a Walpole woman said. “I think it’s a shame because Halloween is the funnest day of the year next to Christmas for children.”

In a message to parents the school principal says, “…the costume parade is out of our ordinary routine and can be difficult for many students. Also, the parade is not inclusive of all the students and it is our goal each and every day to ensure all student’s individual differences are respected.”

On Friday the school will have a Halloween party after school hours, but the school says Halloween itself will be “Black and Orange” spirit day.

I have no idea what “black and orange spirit” is supposed to signify other than possibly a sign of being a Cincinnati Bengals fan. (And really… how much spirit would you have this season anyway? The Bengals are 2-3 with an even worse record than the Jets.) But since those are the traditional colors of Halloween and you’re holding the party on October 31st, aren’t the kids pretty much going to know this is a Halloween party anyway?

Perhaps more to the point, how is Halloween “not inclusive” for all of the students? I can see, to a certain degree, how some families might feel that Jewish, Muslim or atheist children feel left out at Christmas, but this is Halloween we’re talking about. Who is excluded? Is there some racial divide over trick or treating that I’ve entirely missed?

If this was an argument based strictly on religious grounds I could almost see it. Growing up, I had one friend whose mother was absolutely militant in her opposition to Halloween. My friend never had a costume for the big day at school. Their house had zero decorations. And if you were foolish enough to show up there with a bag on the designated night hoping to score some candy you would instead be treated to a lecture on how Halloween was evil and against the wishes of Christ.

I never figured out exactly what she meant by that, but I assume it had something to do with devil worship or false idols or something. But the point is, that was a religious objection. The situation at Walpole appears to be a political dispute and I’m completely flummoxed as to what they’re going on about.

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