Wednesday, October 31

For schools, Halloween can mean parties or problems

"Darth Klein" image from Eduwonkette, who has dressed up several of the city's education leaders.

Happy Halloween! Today marks a holiday that often means fun and costumes in elementary schools and higher-than-usual rates of absenteeism in high schools, where mischief can emerge on Oct. 31. The DOE doesn't have a uniform policy on Halloween celebrations, instead leaving decision-making up to individual schools. (In keeping with the DOE's philosophy of giving more power to principals, this is a change from the recent past, when the DOE attempted to set a uniform, no-costume policy.) According to a Times article, some schools, such as PS 321 in Brooklyn, allow costumes but not toy weapons. Maybe the 321 kids will unsheathe their swords at the Park Slope Halloween Parade instead; it's one of many Halloween events being held citywide. And the anti-sweets crowd has some (fun-killing) suggestions for how to keep Halloween healthy.

One city school where kids won't be celebrating? Leon M. Goldstein High School for the Sciences in Brooklyn, where Halloween costumes were banned after a student dressed as Hitler infuriated teachers and classmates last year.

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