Canstar Community News - ONLINE EDITION
Costumes not allowed at some LRSD schools
About half of the schools in the Louis Riel School Division are not allowing students to wear costumes to school for Halloween this year.
Terry Borys, superintendent of the division, said Louis Riel’s board of trustees does not have a policy on Halloween costumes, but acknowledged some individual schools have taken the step of not allowing costumes.
About 20 of the division’s 40 schools — located throughout St. Boniface and St. Vital — do not allow costumes at school, Borys said.
"The traditional ‘costume party’ no longer takes place in many schools," he said.
He said there are a number of reasons why schools may have made the decision to not allow costumes.
"Some costumes have become very violent in nature. Others are not appropriate for the school setting.
Some of the accessories for costumes can be very much like weapons," Borys said. "Some students do not have costumes while others cannot afford costumes. Some have elaborate costumes that get ruined, causing other problems. Some students' families do not recognize Halloween."
"There are just a whole variety of reasons that schools are evolving with the diversified needs of our community."
Borys said most schools — even those that do not allow costumes — participate in activities to mark the holiday, while others have created alternatives to costume parties.
Four schools in the division hold "Black and Orange Day," during which students are encouraged to wear Halloween colours, while one school has an evening event for parents and students.
At the schools that allow students to wear costumes, guidelines for what is and isn’t permitted are distributed to parents and students, Borys said.
Doug McArthur, a St. Vital parent, said he hopes Halloween costumes aren’t banned by the time his one-year-old son, Adam, is ready for school.
"The real fun of Halloween will always be going trick-or-treating in the evening, but I would be disappointed if my son were unable to enjoy the fun of dressing up in costume for school," said the 29-year-old father.
"Kids love dressing up and this is the one time of year it's not only allowed, but historically encouraged."
Still, McArthur said he can understand the concerns some school administrators may have
"Some guidelines should be put in place so that parents and kids alike understand that it's not OK to wear a ninja costume to school with real swords," he said.
As long as the guidelines are reasonable and explained well to families, McArthur said he thinks most parents will be happy to comply.
"There are plenty of creative and fun ideas for costumes that don’t pose any danger of physical or emotional harm to other students," he said.
"In addition, as it goes with any creative exercise, placing some limitations on the day can be a great way to squeeze out some really creative ideas for costumes."
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(1 of 15 articles for this week)05/15/2013 1:00 AM 0
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