Students react to Seneca’s costume ban

Students react to Seneca’s costume ban

Chloe Ruffennach, Staff writer

Seneca Valley High School announced Monday morning that they were not allowing students to dress up in costumes for Halloween, resulting in many angered students and causing several inconveniences.

In fact, the only festive wear deemed tolerable is the black and orange attire suggested for spirit week.

While many can see the reasoning behind Seneca’s decision, it has not been a choice that has landed lightly with the students. Many, including myself, have been thoroughly preparing to fit their festive looks into a school-appropriate appearance, and it can easily be argued that no one in their right mind would enter the school building in something deemed by Seneca to be “against the dress code”. Yet even despite this, it was specifically states on Monday’s morning announcements, October 26 that not even “head pieces” are to be worn.

No face paint, costumes or head pieces are to be allowed inside Seneca Valley’s hallways on Friday the 30th. And I cannot help but wonder why our school refuses to allow any expression of festivity or creativity.

In the midst of art programs becoming defunded nationwide and creativity being stripped down by required research papers, self-expression and creativity are becoming increasingly difficult to come by. And while strict dress codes already limit day to day forms of self-expression like specific piercings, hair colorings, accessories and tee shirts, the one day of the year where extraneous, ludicrous, and off the wall attire is acceptable and encouraged has been taken from us too.

And yes, you can go on to argue that Friday the 30th is not technically considered Halloween but not all of us are invited to parties or take part in trick or treating. For some, school was left as the only opportunity to express creativity through their costumes. Some even had specific outfits planned just for Friday’s school day, only to have that opportunity shot down.

On top of all this the Child Development class had previously instated a bonus option to dress up Friday to entertain the children they look after. Because of the new ban those students reaching for some extra credit must only wear their costumes during their allotted period, which is extremely inconvenient and may lead to students being tardy to their next class.

Friends of mine have also voiced anger for the newly instated rule. In fact, I have yet to find a person in favor of this decision.

Krist Muñoz, a close friend of mine, who, like myself, had originally planned to go all-out with his costume for school. He and I initially planned to walk through Seneca as the Joker and Harley Quinn, only to have these ideas wiped away on Monday morning. And while we both are attending Halloween events outside of school, it is a sourly missed opportunity to not show off these costumes to all of our classmates.

When asked about Seneca’s abrupt decision, Krist said, “Going to school in the IHS, one of the things that got me excited about coming to the SHS was the fact that it had so much spirit, and one instance of this was shown on Halloween. It allowed the students to show individuality and creativity through their costumes. Anyone I’ve talked to is devastated that we were banned from wearing any form of costume. Myself included.”

But for others, while the verdict has proved obviously inconvenient, it has not stopped many from perusing the embodiment of their favorite characters and creations. This rather short-notice hindrance to student’s plans has not only left the school outraged, but has resulted in many students searching for more subtle costumes to portray their favorite characters as.

While Seneca’s decision has saddened the student body, this new rule has not stripped the Halloween spirit entirely from students who insist on showing off their costumes to their fellow peers. While few students have decided to participate in Spirit Week’s orange and black festivities instead,  some students, like myself, have found alternative costumes that subtly embody their favorite characters. That’s why I’ve chosen to dress up as the very professional and studious appearance of Harleen Quinzel to portray Friday instead.


(photo provided by