Halloween in Australia has become increasingly popular. Children (and adults) dress up as something spooky and walk around their neighbourhood ‘trick or treating’.
St Michaels Grammar School in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs has banned Halloween festivities at its St Kilda campus. Senior chaplain Father Kenyon McKie conveyed this decision to parents through the school’s app, providing a 600-word explanation about the holiday’s history and traditions.
The move underscores the ongoing debate about the place of cultural events like Halloween in educational settings and reflects the school’s commitment to maintaining its values. It raises questions about how schools choose to integrate or exclude certain traditions and the impact this decision will have on the school’s community. This ban serves as a point of reflection on the interplay between culture, education, and tradition.
“Many Christians would feel that recognising Halloween gives the false impression that what is actually potentially spiritually dangerous is innocuous,” he said.
“Some children develop a fascination with the supernatural that may lead them into more sinister occult practices later in life.”
McKie gave another reason for the ban as well, one that came down mostly to disruption.
“As a Child Safe School, we do not want to promote a practice that, in some cases, causes annoyance, destruction of property and havoc for our neighbourhoods,” he said.
He added that families were “welcome to observe celebrations and festivals of their choosing outside school”.
A spokesperson for Kmart and Target told The Sydney Morning Herald that young families were the biggest spenders.
“Halloween is one of our fastest growing events of the year and across Kmart and Target we have continued to expand our ranges across multiple categories including decorator, clothing, sleepwear, confectionary, craft and toys as a result,” they said.
Do you think it’s right for a school to put a ban on Halloween festivities?