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A Student’s Dad Reported A Teacher’s Halloween Costume To The Principal Because It Offended Their Faith — ‘I Believe In God’

Photo: Ground Picture / Shutterstock 
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During school spirit week, an Arizona high school teacher arrived sporting a costume he had no idea would cause the uproar that it did. Now, he has been placed on administrative leave until the district makes a decision as to whether or not he can return to work, as some students were frightened by his costume, with one even claiming that it threatened his faith. 

A student's dad reported the teacher's costume as offensive to their faith. 

As high school students in Mesa, Arizona gathered into their classroom one morning ready to learn, they were stunned to see that their teacher had been replaced by the devil himself. Not actually, of course, but he was dressed as the devil, complete with fake horns and a pitchfork.

According to sophomore Nathaniel Hamlet, the teacher allegedly waved the pitchfork over students’ heads as they entered the classroom and said “Hail Satan.” 



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"Some people thought it was funny, some people didn't like it, some people were like 'whatever,' they just blew it off," Hamlet told Mesa NBC affiliate KPNX. He claimed that he was especially offended by his teacher’s costume choice since he is a Christian, and the devil represents evil in his eyes. 

"I said, 'Don't do that to me' and I pushed [the pitchfork] away, maybe three or four times and he still said it and still did it," Hamlet explained. 

When he got home from school that day, he reported the incident to his father, Chris, who was just as offended as his son. Hamlet's father, a former Mesa Public School board candidate, decided to inform the high school principal about the situation.

"I was livid because I am a Christian as well, obviously," he said. "What really tipped it over for me is, he [Nathaniel] kept telling him no, and the teacher kept persisting." 

The school district decided to place the teacher on administrative leave. 

It was a decision that the younger Hamlet agreed with, even suggesting that the school take it a step further. "I feel like that's fair, but he did it repeatedly to everyone. So I feel like you should probably get fired,” he said. 

Despite whether or not the teacher was just joking around with his students, Hamlet's father believed that the teacher's actions were wildly inappropriate. “If you're gonna keep the Christian stuff out [of the classroom], then you got to keep the devil-worshiping stuff out, period," he said. 



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Many schools have faced similar Halloween complaints in recent years.

Some schools are taking steps to move celebrations to more inclusive fall festival-themed events.



In Christianity, the devil is the personification of evil who rebelled against God in an attempt to become equal to God himself. However, this does not mean that all Christians are against or offended by people wearing a costume resembling the devil. In fact, some of them do not even believe that the devil exists. According to a nationwide survey conducted by The Barna Group, Four out of ten Christians (40%) strongly agreed that Satan "is not a living being but is a symbol of evil." An additional two out of 10 Christians (19%) said they "agree somewhat" with that perspective. 

The teacher claimed that his costume was not intended to offend or harm anyone. 

The teacher spoke with 12 News, explaining that he was dressed in a devil costume because it was Halloween. It was also spirit week at the school, and the theme of Halloween Day was “dynamic duos.” The teacher said that he decided to pair up with the teacher next door, who dressed up as an angel. 

"Participating in spirit weeks like this is a way for me to engage with my students and bring fun to my classroom," he urged. "It's truly not any more complicated than that." 

dad reported teacher's Halloween costume to principle because it offended their faithPhoto: Krakenimages.com / Shutterstock 

We all have different faiths and beliefs, with some of us believing that the devil represents evil and harm. However, this does not necessarily mean that those who dress up as the devil around Halloween are evil or disturbed. 

Halloween is a holiday associated with spooky and supernatural themes, and people often dress up as various mythical and fictional characters, including the devil, without intending to offend or promote harmful beliefs. Still, when working at a school, it is important to be mindful of the potential impact of your costume choices and to avoid anything that could be genuinely harmful or offensive to others.

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Megan Quinn is a writer at YourTango who covers entertainment and news, self, love, and relationships.