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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Frightening: A Halloween Costume Contract

Halloween-pumpkin-carving The Washington Post gets in the Halloween spirit with reporting on this costume contract that a Michigan junior high school required parents and students to sign before the students could wear costumes to school.

 Here's the deal (no emphasis added or punctuation changes made):

 

JEANNETTE JR. HIGH SCHOOL 

HALLOWEEN COSTUME RULES/GUIDELINES
Parent Agreement Form 2010

1. All students wearing costumes to school MUST read and understand the costume guidelines. In addition, they MUST sign the registration form provided by their FIRST HOUR teacher. They must also have this form signed by their parent and submitted to their first hour teacher by the Wednesday, October 27th deadline. If form is not submitted in a timely manner, then student is NOT allowed to dress up.

2. All costume preparations are to be completed at home. (No dressing or applying of make-up or colored hairspray once students arrive at school).

3. No masks are to be worn during the school day.

4. NO COSTUMES THAT DEPICT VIOLENCE OR VIOLENT CHARACTERS!

5. Costumes that promote the use of illegal substances or activities or are derogatory or disrespectful are NOT allowed.

6. Teachers may take away any accessory that is used improperly or is considered inappropriate for school.

7. School rules regarding the dress code must be followed.

8. Students who have questions about the acceptability of their costume should check with their FIRST HOUR teacher by Wednesday, October 27th.

9. Students wearing inappropriate costumes will be sent to the office to call home for a change of clothes, and/or may result in one or both of the following disciplinary consequences: Saturday school, Suspension.

10. Students who do not submit parent agreement form by the Wednesday, Oct. 27th deadline and still choose to wear a costume will also face disciplinary action as deemed appropriate by administration.

11. Costumes MUST be worn all day.

KEEP IN MIND WE WOULD LIKE TO CONTINUE THIS TRADITION HERE AT JEANNETTE TO DRESS UP FOR HALLOWEEN, AND WE WOULD LIKE TO MAKE THIS A TRADITION FOR THE FUTURE...BE RESPECTFUL AND RESPONSIBLE!!

I have read and discussed with my child the Jeannette Jr. High School Halloween costume rules/guidelines. I understand that if my child violates any of the above rules, he/she will have earned Saturday school and/or suspension as a consequence. I also understand that this form must be signed and returned to my child’s 1st hour teacher, on or before Wednesday, October 27th. 
X_________________________________ 
(print student first and last name) 
X_________________________________ 
(student signature) 
X_________________________________ 
(print parent first and last name) 
X__________________________________ 
(parent signature) 

Wow, frightening indeed!  It sure leaves a lot open to interpretation, including whether a costume depicts a "violent character" and whether certain costumes are "inappropriate."  Some traditional Halloween staples come to mind as arguably violent: the devil? grim reaper? vampire?  This year's most popular costumes are apparently Lady Gaga and Jersey Shore characters: appropriate?  And, what is the remedy if a student doesn't comply with paragraph 11?

[Meredith R. Miller]

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Comments

No pirates, no superheroes, no zombies, vampires, Frankenstein monsters . . . . They seem to have a different idea of what the Halloween "tradition" is at this particular high school.

Next up, only healthy snacks at Trick or Treat.

Posted by: Frank Snyder | Oct 31, 2010 12:02:51 PM

I think we might have a failure for lack of consideration. If the costume policy is in line with the dress code and assuming that the students are already bound by the dress code then we might have a pre-existing duty problem.

Posted by: Jason | Nov 1, 2010 2:50:54 PM

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