Is your child’s costume within school rules?

Whether or not kids wear their Halloween costumes to class on Tuesday will depend on their specific school if you live in the Brant area.

“The guidelines around how Halloween is observed in Grand Erie schools are based in principles of safety, equity and belonging,” Jenny Gladish, communications officer for the Grand Erie District School Board, told The Spectator in an email.

“For safety reasons, students should be easily recognizable when in costume. Replica weapons, as always, are not permitted on school property,” the email added.

But within those guidelines, some schools have taken a stricter approach.

For instance, at North Ward School in Paris, where Nichol Topham’s two kids are students, families have been told kids can wear orange and black — but no costumes.

Topham heard that has been the policy there for a while. “My kids aren’t thrilled about it,” she said.

In other cases, parents have been notified that children may wear costumes — but should not use cultures and gender identities as a costume, nor wear costumes that body shame, objectify, or joke about situations that have caused harm such as the COVID pandemic.

Other schools have been given a general directive of “no masks or weapons” — which is the main guideline at the Brant Haldimand Norfolk Catholic District School Board, according to several parents.

In her email, Gladish added that Grand Erie school administrators make these decisions based on “what they feel is best for the learners, families and communities they serve, through the lens of equity and belonging.”

Celeste Percy-Beauregard's reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative. The funding allows her to report on stories about Brant County.

Celeste Percy-Beauregard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Hamilton Spectator