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Thursday, October 18th 2007

11:15 AM

County Council approves of Halloween - UPDATED

  • Posted by: Steve Biodrowski

The Washington Post has an article about a County Council that unanimously passed a resolution calling for" uniform celebration of Halloween in County public schools." The action was taken in response to some schools opting for alternative nmaes like "Orange and Black Day" or fall festival.

  • "I just think this political correctness thing has gone too far," said council member C. Edward Middlebrooks (R-Severna Park). "We have some schools calling it 'Harvest Day.' What are we even harvesting these days? Let's call it what it is, and let the kids be kids."

    The nonbinding resolution encountered guffaws and giggles at a council meeting Monday night, but passed unanimously.

    "I couldn't face my kid at home if I voted no," said council member Cathleen Marie Vitale (R-Severna Park), explaining her pro-Halloween vote.

    When told of the council's hard-line stance on costumes, pumpkins and the H-word, some county school officials were speechless. "I don't know. . . . I'll have to see if we have any official response to that," said school spokeswoman Maneka Wade.

I don't know what "political correctness" had to do with any of this, but I applaud the council's vote in favor of calling Halloween what it is.

UPDATE: The Baltimore Sun has a more in-depth article on the subject that looks at the reasons some schools are phasing out Halloween celebrations:

  • ...school officials and parent-group leaders say they are trying to be sensitive to a more culturally diverse student body that may not be comfortable with the holiday's element of horror. Halloween's decline in schools is also a reflection of a recent Gallup Poll that found 10 percent of respondents objected to celebrating the holiday because of their religious beliefs.

    Christian evangelicals denounce what they say are Halloween's satanic roots. Halloween originated from the celebration of an ancient pagan festival marking the end of the harvest season. It evolved to mark the day before Roman Catholics and Anglicans celebrate All Saints' Day. Those in medieval England referred to it as "All Hallows," and the preceding day as "Hallows' eve."

Fortunately, some officials are pushing back. C. Edward Middlebrooks, the  County Councilman who introduced the Anne Arundel resolution, says, "I don't want to hear my kids say, 'Hey, Dad, we missed this in our lives.'"

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