Teachers Tackle Halloween During a Pandemic

Despite the circumstances this year, many staff members at Dunbar have creative ways to keep the Halloween spirit alive for their families.


Courtesy of Tara Wilkinson

Dressed as a Star Wars X-wing pilot, Mr. Doug Wilkinson used a creative no-contact method of candy delivery.

Dunbar art teacher Mrs. Jamie Preptit has a 4-year-old and a six-year-old. In order to make Halloween fun while being safe, she said she tried to come up with a creative idea: she is turning the inside of their home into a haunted house.

In a Halloween-Easter mash-up, she plans on hiding 100 white skull eggs filled with tiny glow sticks and Halloween candy. When it gets dark on Halloween night, her children will dress up in the costumes they picked out to hunt for the eggs.

“Halloween is my oldest child’s favorite holiday,” Mrs. Preptit said. “We will not be doing our traditional trick or treating in my neighborhood, but I’m trying to still make the holiday fun and memorable.” 

Librarian Mrs. Summer Perry is also getting creative so that her two daughters can enjoy Halloween safely. She said that she plans to take her girls, who are 3 and 10 years old, trick or treating in their neighborhood, but only to houses where she knows the owners have been taking COVID-19 seriously. As for distributing candy, she is putting together treat bags and spreading them out in her driveway with hand sanitizer for kids to use when they stop by.

She said that they also plan on doing a socially-distanced “trunk or treat”–an event in which people hand out candy from the decorated trunks of their cars.

“I think we can celebrate Halloween and still have it be a fun time, but I think we all to make some modifications,” Mrs. Perry said.

I think we can celebrate Halloween and still have it be a fun time, but I think we all need to make some modifications.

— Summer Perry

Media Arts teacher Mr. Ben Herzog said that he plans on taking his kids trick or treating this year as they have always done. He said that his family always hands out candy and plan on doing so this year as well.

“I’ll be honest,” he said. “Our family isn’t concerned about COVID-19, and if we had the choice, we’d go about life as normal.” He added that he and his family follow all guidelines out of respect for others.

Social Studies teacher Mr. Doug Wilkinson has a daughter who is still young enough to trick or treat but has decided to sit out this year. He said that instead, his daughter wants to help make other kids happy in a way that is safe and healthy.

He, English teacher Mrs. Tara Wilkinson, and their two kids have created 300 individually wrapped treat bags filled with an assortment of candy and toys. In order to ensure social distancing, he said that they will drop each bag through a 10-foot long pipe.

“It’s probably not a good idea to have big indoor parties or otherwise gather in big groups, but I think there are plenty of ways to have safe fun that will not be all that different from a typical Halloween,” Mr. Wilkinson said.

English teacher Mrs. Amber Faris said that she plans on having a small celebration with their next-door neighbors. She said, “we have basically quarantined with them.” She said that they plan on having just their two families, some chili, and of course, candy.

Her children will also drive through a “trunk or treat” at their church. She is also going to line their sidewalk with small grab-and-go candy bags for neighborhood children in order to prevent face-to-face or hand-to-hand contact.

“I think celebrating in small ways is still important for my kids’ sanity, and my own, but we have to be safe,” said Mrs. Faris. “Maybe that means less candy, but our overall safety is more important, and I don’t want to risk others’ health, either.”

Social Studies teacher Mrs. Sharessa Crovo said that she plans to only take her three girls to the homes of people they know. She said that they plan to hand out individually wrapped treats, and they are thinking about spraying circles or using chalk to make a fun “hopscotch to your candy” game for kids who stop by their house.

“Although not having normal traditions is hard, my kids do not want to do anything that would jeopardize our neighbors’ health,” Mrs. Crovo said. “One of our neighbors has already passed away from COVID and we have family members who have suffered from it as well. We are more focused on putting others before themselves.” 

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  • Mrs. Jamie Preptit’s children chose to be a witch and Scooby-Doo for Halloween this year.

  • Mrs. Preptit is using skull Easter eggs with mini glow sticks and candy stuffed inside for a haunted house candy hunt with her children.

  • Mr. Doug Wilkinson’s house is lit up at night with these Ghostbusters-themed decorations.

  • Mr. Wilkinson’s front door is decorated with an inflatable ghost house and a Star Wars BB-8.

  • Mr. Wilkinson’s family created a non-contact pipe to drop candy bags through for children during trick or treating.