Fright Free Children

and the Effects of Low-Level Violence

Submitted to Letters to the Editor October 21, 2023:

Toronto Star
Peterborough Examiner

Celebrating Halloween - Don't

It's time, time to stop scaring kids. Time to stop frightening people. Remember the great joke of a surprise birthday party that was so funny that the victim would come into the celebration only to be so surprised that they peed their pants? Right? Not funny for the surpriseree, funny for everyone else. Not really funny!

To quote Deepak Chopra, "When you are upset, very start to die." There was an experiment on a chipmunk and while he was away from his nest they took away all his hidden nuts. The chipmunk took one look at the empty nest, twirled around and died on the spot. Funny?This is how the dying process physically happens - first your healing process stops - your immune system stops. And next your elimination system stops - pees. Then each organ stops one by one. To frighten anyone is inhumane and cruel!

Recently I was passing a Halloween scene that I saw driving near Bathurst St. It was the usual scene of crosses, cemetery doom and gloom items. But the centre piece was a murder. A man from the house evidently, was setting up a couple of figures arranged in full size showing a murder scene. The man was about to kill his victim with a large knife high in the air - the woman in white was leaning away, escaping.The worst of the scene was the fact that the man setting it up had his little girl helping him. I can imagine what kind of an impact this would have on her mentality. (PTSD anyone?)

The only spirituality celebrated in schools is Halloween - anything scary, frightening, negative seems to be encouraged - ghosts, skeletons, dead bodies coming out of the ground, etc. But that's OK, that's different, it's just for fun. Is it?

Let's stop frightening!

Merina Balten BA, MA

(Attention Parents - Please take this letter to your school and ask what they are doing for Halloween.)

Frightening a child hurts them, can leave them deeply impacted, even traumatized. This fact isn't widely recognized. For this end this book was written.

Community: Children's horror books are presently the largest section of publishing. Hallowe'en events and celebrations are growing every year, scaring and frightening children. Schools class/yard: Bullying situations. For example my grandson was recently found crying in his school washroom because of a bullying incident with classmates. Frequent disharmony in classrooms is often overlooked instead of addressing the group's overall morale. Home: "Spare the rod and spoil the child" has been our most cultural children's touchstone. Research shows, even the child that has been brought up with 2 caring and affluent parents were found to be harmed by excessive criticism. The present school curriculum needs to include positive values and Spirituality in all of its facets.

The Book

Frght Free Book's front cover



1. Why we frighten children
2. The history of childhood
3. Horror
4. Fear
5. Is violence inevitable
6. Low level violence
7. The sources of violence
8. Censorship
9. Thoughts are things
10. Horror Harms
11. Violence begets violence
12. Solutions - violence
13. Additional - teachers
14. Additional - parents
15. Moving the Fright-Free agenda forward

The book Fright Free Children and the Effects of Low-Level Violence, is the result of many years of observation, dreams and consultation with teachers and parents and will be be published in early 2024.

The Author - Biography
Merina Balten

An elementary music school teacher with degrees in BA and MA in Theology.

Spiritual education: Merina studied Spirituality and dream interpretation for many years under a teacher who was tutored by Padre Pio, Italy. She also took extensive courses with Dr. Wm. Bezman at Pathways to Health in New York, studied with Rev. James McShane in Lindsay, ON, as well as took courses at Delphi Spiritual University in Georgia, with certification in Spiritual Hypnotherapy and courses in intuitive counselling.

Currently putting together material to submit to the Ontario Provincial government as well as the local school boards asking that Spirituality and a more holistic approach be now included in the school curriculum.

Merina Balten - author

Contact Me

1. Frightening children is the last allowable violence against children. Do you agree?

2. Should we ask Toronto District School Board to discourage frightening small children in our schools?

3. Should we agree that our Provincial government allow Spirituality in schools? (As it is, Halloween is the only Spirituality encouraged, negative Spirituality.)

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