Published October 29, 2007
LONG BEACH, N.Y. – Call it the misadventure of Captain Underpants and the Peeved Principal.
A suburban Long Island high school has banned all Halloween costumes after three senior girls showed up last year dressed as the underwear-baring subject of a series of best-selling children's books.
Long Beach High School Principal Nicholas Restivo, who sent the three seniors home to change last year, said the episode solidified his sense that the school's costume tradition was disruptive. Some gory get-ups might make students uncomfortable, he added.
"I'm being a principal. I'm not being an ogre," Restivo said.
Some students don't see it that way. They are circulating a petition opposing the costume crackdown.
"It's one thing if the school won't let us wear outfits that are revealing or inappropriate, but if it is an innocent Halloween costume, we should be allowed to wear it," said junior Meghan Beck.
The Captain Underpants costumes were indeed inappropriate, in Restivo's view. The three girls donned beige leotards and nude stockings under white briefs and red capes to portray the superhero, who has battled such foes as talking toilets and the infamous Professor Poopypants.
To Restivo, "the appearance was that they were naked."
One of the three, Chelsea Horowitz, now 18 and a first-year student at Hofstra University, saw the resulting costume ban as unfair.
"He is going to punish everyone for Halloween because of something that happened last year?" she said.