I wrote the following article for the Katy Citizen Watchdog$ web site:


Stop Ruining Childhood!

One of my favorite holidays, Halloween, is coming up soon. Over the last two

decades the public schools have done their best to get rid of Halloween. That

is a shame.

Halloween falls on Friday this year--a school day. I love Halloween. It is the only

holiday all year that is purely for children.

The holiday did not start out that way. Originally it was a religious holiday

designed to take the place of a pagan celebration. Then it became a holiday for

adults. These facts can be substantiated by checking an historical account of

the day.

As a collector of stuff, I am aware that old Halloween collectibles were

designed for adults and were clearly scary items. Costumes were created to

frighten people.

But like all things, there is change. In the early part of the last century,

Halloween became a children’s holiday. Costumes were tamed; noisemakers

evolved, and the Trick or Treat customs began.

I’m glad I grew up in a time when my parents were able to send me out the door

by myself at dusk to join my friends and then welcome me back two or three

hours later with my big sack of candy, apples and homemade popcorn balls,

dripping with caramel sauce and salt and wrapped by hand in crinkly wax paper.

There have for many years been urban legends of Halloween crimes, but they are

mostly that--a legend. The murder in Houston of eight-year old Timothy Mark

O’Bryan by his father Ronald Clark O’Bryan in 1974 was not a Halloween murder.

The father specifically targeted his son in order to collect insurance money. He

used Halloween to cover up his evil intentions. Nevertheless, from that moment

on, parents were fearful of a similar event happening to their own children.

At this point in time, most children are accompanied by their parents as they

Trick or Treat. As far as I’m concerned, that’s a good idea. Parents also have a

chance to teach their older children (sixth grade and up) the joys of being the

deliverer of candy instead of the taker. Nothing looks more out of place than a

junior high kid greedily asking for candy! You'd think they would be more

interested in other things besides candy at that age!

There are enough spoil sports attacking the holiday without the public schools

joining in the fray. Over the years Halloween carnivals in the schools on

this special night have become "Fall" carnivals if they exist at all. How insipid!

How phony! How politically correct! School or neighborhood Halloween carnivals

provided a safe alternative for children and were great fund raisers.

Children in most places are not allowed to wear their costumes to school on the

last school day of October. There are some who choose to liken the wearing of a

Raggedy Ann frock or a pointed black hat to pandering to the nefarious spirit

world. That’s poppycock. That’s looking for things that are simply not there,

and I can think of no logical reason to ban this celebration anywhere! In my

opinion, depriving children of this day of fun at their school is just plain