Halloween will you celebrate it?

Boulder City Children at Trunk & Treat October 13, 2018

With Halloween coming up we have now started to see controversies and outrage popping up about costumes. The first ones we’ve seen pop up are specifically about children. For example, we’ve had one 12-year-old boy causing controversy after showing up to a Boulder City, Nevada event called “trunk-or-treat” dressed as Hitler. The boy was dressed in black boots, brown pants, brown leather jacket with a Swastika armband and sporting a Hitler mustache. After photos of the boy were posted to Facebook his mother was quickly identified as Janet Arsenian who was a teacher at a local junior high school.

There were some commenting, “Interesting to see a #CCSD teacher pridefully dressing her 13-year-old as Hitler,” wrote one Facebook poster. “These nazi sympathizers are supposed to be educating our kids.” Some even went on to urge the school to fire her; following this in a now deleted post in a private Facebook group the mother said, “I’m the proud parent of the boy in the Hitler costume and my son didn’t mean to upset anyone.” “He needed a last-minute costume and he put that together today.” “He went as Hitler yes, a historical figure.” “No we don’t worship Hitler or agree with what he did.” She then reportedly went on to compare the dressing up as a fictional character like Michael Myers from the movie Halloween and he chose Hitler, because of his haircut. Also adding, “He did it all by himself and I’m proud of him.” “If you guys are sensitive maybe you should not leave your house.” The boy’s father also thought the whole thing was being blown out of proportion, saying that his son was currently learning about World War 2 and he just wanted to wear this costume.

No matter the reasoning behind his choice in attire, many people still felt that it was inappropriate including Boulder City resident Helena Vece whose parents were Holocaust survivors. And she said, “I know what my mom and dad went through.”  “I know what I went through (with) them as a child, I know what their memories are.” “I was born in Germany after the war, and to see this was so offensive.” “I don’t understand the mentality on the social media, because some people are saying ‘It shouldn’t be a big deal, it’s just a costume.” “No, for people that had family there and in concentration camps, this is a big deal.” But at the same time you also had people defending this costume choice. There are people pointing out that it’s not rare for someone to dress up as something evil whether it be a witch or the devil.

Clark County school district spokeswoman Kirsten Searer saying that they are aware of the post, but adding they would not comment on the possibility of disciplinary action against the mother. In a statement saying, “We expect all of our employees to be sensitive to the varied cultural backgrounds of our students and community.”

With some much controversy, will many decide not to continue to allow their kids to participate?

Story: Martin Reynolds