Letters to the Editor: Holy Halloween!

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I too am one of the folks who thought it silly and excessive for the East Lansing schools to ban celebrations of Halloween and Valentine’s Day. While I can see it’s an expedient way for the school district to eliminate a handful of minor issues these celebrations may present, I also believe it is another example of a sacrifice of the joys the many for the feelings of a very few. When I was a kid some of the best costumes were the simple, inexpensive but highly creative homemade costumes. This is a great equalizer for less well-off but talented and creative kids. One year a kid cut a large hole out of one side of a big cardboard box, put a clear piece of plastic in the hole, added TV knobs & rabbit ears (yes, I’m aging myself) and he was a TV ... better yet, wearing it over his head HE was the star of the TV show.

More importantly you deserve criticism for your presentation (The Edit, 10/27/21). You characterized objections simply as emotional reactions of parents against political correctness while the ban was “a decision that is rightly made by education professionals.” This has become the standard smarmy tactic of “progressives” everywhere ... to dismiss your opposition and their arguments as mindless and emotional. In fact, most of the admin reasons are weak (Valentines don’t have to be expensive ... it’s the thought that counts), but primarily the parents have wisdom on their side. If school is a place of learning, it seems logical that a well-rounded educational experience would be best. If one child has the relatively minor disappointment of fewer Valentines than another, or an unrequited crush ... or another kid has a nicer costume than yours ... well, learning to deal with those minor disappointments is a part of life, and better to learn in elementary school. Don’t we want our kids to be resilient? Heaven knows there will be disappointments, unrequited love, disaster, ailments and deaths in their future. It is better to expose them to the joys and trials when they’re minor. To try to shield them from all disappointment is like the doting, overprotective mother, and that is ultimately bad for kids.

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