Metro Atlanta school charging students to wear Halloween costume to class

Bay Creek Middle School announced students would be allowed to wear “school-appropriate” costumes on Halloween.
Bay Creek Middle School
Bay Creek Middle School(WANF)
Published: Oct. 12, 2022 at 6:48 PM EDT
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GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - Parents at a Gwinnett County Public School are being asked to fork over cash to let their children wear costumes to class on Halloween.

Felicia McTiller doesn’t feel one way or the other about the upcoming dress-up day at Bay Creek Middle School, but she said her 7th grader won’t be participating.

“It’s different,” she said. “This is our first year here at this school. So, the schools that he’s attended previously, in another state, that was never an issue like, either they could, or they could not wear the costumes.”

In a notice to parents on Tuesday, leaders at the school announced students would be allowed to wear “school-appropriate” costumes on Halloween. However, those participating would have to pay $10. The school would only accept cash, according to the notice posted on the school’s website.

“As the parent, we’re already going to go out and purchase the costume,” said McTiller. “And, then $10 for them to wear the costume. I mean, I can understand if it was, you know, $2 or $1.”

The message didn’t explain what or how the fee would be used. When Atlanta News First reached out to Gwinnett County Public Schools, a spokesperson explained the event is a fundraiser for the school’s clubs. He said costumes aren’t allowed to be worn at school, but there are some exceptions. He added students do not have to participate.

But some parents questioned charging students at all. Brandon Cannon, who has a sixth grader at the school, believes the event disregards students who come from low-income families

“It’s kind of insensitive,” Cannon said. “[If you have] three kids, it’s 30 bucks. That’s, that’s a lot, especially in times, like we’re in now. They could have found a different way if they’re trying to raise money for the school.”

According to new research from the National Retail Federation, Americans will spend a record $10.6 billion on Halloween this year. $3.6 billion will be spent on costumes alone.

The spokesperson for the district said school leaders are considering changes to the event.