Some schools say no to ghouls and their friends

FOSTER CITY — While students in many Peninsula schools will attend classes today dressed as pirates, movie stars and wizards, students at Bowditch Middle School are being asked to leave their costumes at home.

Fall is a busy time for many schools, chock-full of parent-teacher conferences, field trips, half-days and preparations for the holidays. Bowditch’s staff and parent-teacher association felt that letting the middle-school kids dress up in school would be one distraction too many, according to PTA president Carol Lockerby.

“As someone who watches how many days out of the year get disturbed, it seems like they’d have to take the whole day off [to celebrate Halloween],” Lockerby said. “The kids have plenty of time to do Halloween activities in the evening.”

School officials would not comment, although one staff member confirmed that there was a concern that costumes would be distracting for Bowditch’s students.

In other elementary and middle schools, costume policies vary. Students at North Star Academy in Redwood City are allowed to wear orange and black clothes to celebrate Halloween, but cannot wear costumes, according to John Baker, assistant superintendent for the Redwood City School District.

“They just wanted to keep it low-key,” Baker said of the school’s policy. Other schools say costumes must be in good taste — particularly among elementary students — and cannot be too scary or gory.

Festivities aren’t relegated to the lower grades, either. Students in all grades in the South San Francisco Unified School District are welcome to dress up, and some of its schools, including high schools, hold costume contests, according to Superintendent Barbara Olds.

bwinegarner@examiner.com

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