WRDSB schools advised not to take part in Halloween celebrations
Schools in Waterloo Region’s public board are being asked to avoid celebrations regarding Halloween this year.
On Wednesday, a representative from Waterloo Region District School Board told CTV News that schools should avoid decorations, costume day, distribution of treats, and other expressions of the tradition in order to be respectful and to follow public health recommendations.
“If students choose to wear a Halloween costume to school, they should not be reprimanded unless the costume is discriminatory, representative of a person’s culture or religious beliefs, or violates the health and safety of other students,” a statement from the representative reads in part.
On Tuesday, the Region of Waterloo’s Medical Officer of Health gave several tips for trick-or-treaters, as well as those handing out candy, on how to follow public health guidelines this Halloween.
WRDSB is echoing tips around face masks and costumes, specifically that a costume mask is not a substitute for a face mask.
Costume masks should also not go over face masks, and students should not wear makeup from below the eye to make sure the coverings are not dirtied.
"I think they should be allowed to wear costumes because it's fun," said elementary student Cooper Kurmis.
On Thursday, a spokesperson for the board clarified that, "we requested no costumes because of the public health concerns on top of the equity and poverty issues. This is not different than what we said last year."
Meanwhile, officials at the Waterloo Catholic District School Board say they are leaving the Halloween decision up to each of their schools as long as they follow public health rules.