Theme Days Schools Should Avoid (and What to Do Instead)

In recent years, theme days have become increasingly popular in schools as a way to engage students and promote a sense of community. However, not all these days are equal, and some can inadvertently perpetuate harmful stereotypes or exclude certain groups of students. In this article, we will explore some theme days that schools should avoid and provide alternative options that promote inclusivity and respect for all.

  1. Pajama Day: While it may seem harmless, Pajama Day can actually reinforce socio-economic disparities among students. Not all students have access to comfortable pajamas or may feel embarrassed wearing them to school. Instead, schools can host a “Comfy Clothes Day” where students can wear any comfortable clothing that they feel confident in.
  2. Twin Day: Twin Day encourages students to dress up as twins with a friend. While this may seem like a fun activity, it can inadvertently exclude students who don’t have a close friend to pair up with or those who prefer to express their individuality. Schools can opt for a “Dress Like a Celebrity Day” where students can dress up as their favorite famous person, allowing for more creativity and inclusivity.
  3. Nerd Day: Nerd Day often involves stereotyping and mocking intellectual individuals who may already face bullying or social isolation. Instead of perpetuating negative stereotypes, schools can have a “Geek Pride Day” that celebrates various interests and passions, such as science, technology, art, or literature. This way, students can share their unique talents and feel appreciated for their passions.
  4. Gender-Specific Days: Gender-specific theme days like “Girls’ Day” or “Boys’ Day” can reinforce gender stereotypes and exclude students who don’t identify within the binary gender system. Instead, schools can organize an “Identity Celebration Day” where students are encouraged to express their authentic selves, irrespective of gender. This can include sharing stories, hobbies, or traditions that define their unique identities.
  5. Colonial Day: Some schools still host Colonial Day events, where students dress up as colonial figures or reenact historical events. Unfortunately, these events can trivialize or glamorize a dark period in history, especially for marginalized communities. Instead, schools can focus on different historical eras or hold a “Cultural Awareness Day” that celebrates various cultures and their contributions to the world.
  6. Crazy Hair Day: Although Crazy Hair Day may seem harmless, it can be exclusionary for students with certain hair types or cultural backgrounds. To foster inclusivity, schools can organize a “Crazy Accessory Day” where students can wear any fun and unique accessories, like hats, sunglasses, or jewelry, that showcase their personality and style without perpetuating stereotypes or cultural insensitivity.

By avoiding these theme days and adopting more inclusive alternatives, schools can create an environment where each student feels valued and respected. It is important to consider the impact of these days and ensure they promote unity, diversity, and acceptance among all students.