CHESTERVILLE — At least at some local public schools, little costumed ghouls and princesses won’t be part of the scene today. This year, the creeping “Orange and Black day” trend has taken hold even at Chesterville Public School whose lunch-hour parade of pupils in their trick-or-treat disguises through the village had been a decades’ long Halloween tradition.
The Upper Canada District School Board does not keep statistics on how many of its schools have dumped traditional Halloween costumes. UCDSB Communications Manager April Scott-Clarke said it’s a decision “individualized” to each school “and I could not list all the reasons schools choose to do Orange and Black day over costumes and vice-versa.”
However, Clarke did offer some of the rationale for eschewing regular Halloween “from not wanting children to get upset if costumes/accessories get lost/broken/ripped to the disruption/discomfort that costumes can sometimes cause.”
NVN was apprised by a source that parental complaints to Chesterville Public School about lost or damaged costumes last year may have played a role in the administration’s decision to pull the plug on the tradition this year.
“I heard that before,” said Ryan Nash, a parent unhappy with the change. “I say then if that’s an issue as a parent, don’t send your child with one [a costume]. Stuff happens sometimes. They are kids.”
Nash said his own parents “couldn’t believe it” when he told them of this year’s policy change. “This is a public school, it’s a tradition that’s gone for a long time. They’re innocent children; let them have fun.”
But in today’s busy world, sending children off to school wearing items of Orange and Black clothing — rather than full-out Halloween get-ups — has its proponents.
Responding to this article on Facebook, Tamsin Grace Belanger noted that Orange and Black Day “is just as much fun with some creativity applied” and “really not that big of a deal.”
Liz Goulet similarly posted that she prefers the approach, writing that trying to get costumed students “ready in the morning is a pain in the butt. They also have to take the costume off before recess which means pieces of the costume get lost.”
This article was updated to include the social media comments of individuals in favour of Orange and Black Day.