In the latest edition of “what is this world coming to?,” it appears that the Toronto District School Board has taken up issue with the topic of Hallowe’en. The board this evening issued a letter to parents, advising them that October 31 is not to be referred to as Hallowe’en any longer.
The decision has reportedly been made as the district attempts to focus on “equity and inclusion,” commenting that there “are many students who do not participate in Hallowe’en activities and for religious reasons, do not participate in dance.” On the basis that public schools are to be “inclusive and welcoming,” the board has evidently decided that the Canadian tradition must be modified.
While students are still permitted to dress up – presumably as a ‘costume day’ rather than Hallowe’en – guidelines have been put in place to limit potential costumes. “Culture appropriating” costumes, such as those that involve sombrero’s as suggested in the letter, may not be worn, nor may those which may be deemed offensive. Also banned are the obvious replica weapons, as well as more traditional items like masks.
The board then goes a step further, and comments that costumes with blood may “trigger a significant response,” and that parents are to “exercise caution and care when selecting [their] child’s costume,” effectively banning yet another category of costumes.
Lastly, on the topic of the aforementioned dances which may not be permitted by some cultures for religious reasons, schools will be conducting “movement sessions,” which specifically “is not a dance.”
That’s a relief.
Perhaps next year the board can ban students from dressing up as their favourite Disney princess, given that it may be perceived as being unjust to the less fortunate and all.
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