A Seattle elementary school canceled its annual Halloween parade this year, saying it “marginalizes students of color who don’t celebrate the holiday.”
The decision to cancel the Pumpkin Parade, where students can dress up in Halloween costumes, came from Benjamin Franklin Day Elementary School’s Racial Equity Team after five years of discussions, the school district said.
“There are numerous community and neighborhood events where students and families want to celebrate Halloween,” a Seattle public school spokesperson said in a statement provided to KTTH Radio talk show host Jason Rantz. “Historically, the Pumpkin Parade marginalizes students of color who don’t celebrate the party. Specifically, these students asked to be isolated on campus while the event was taking place.
“In alliance with SPS’s unwavering commitment to students of color, especially African American males, the staff are committed to supplanting the Pumpkin Parade with more inclusive and educational opportunities throughout the school day,” the statement continued, adding that the decision had nothing to do with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
School principal Stanley Jaskot confirmed the parade was canceled.
“Halloween is a very complex issue for schools. Yes, I agree that this event has marginalized our students of color. Many of our students have historically opted for an alternative library activity while the Pumpkin Parade was taking place. This was an isolating situation and inconsistent with our values of being an inclusive and safe place for all of our students, especially students of color and those with a sensitivity to all the noise and excitement of the parade, “he said. Jaskot to Fox News.
The school informed parents of the cancellation in an October 8 newsletter and asked that their children not dress up in costume this year. The newsletter explained that costume parties can be uncomfortable for many kids who can’t afford one, and that noise levels and crowds can also be annoying for kids, Rantz said.
Instead, students this year will take part in inclusive fall events, such as “fall study thematic units” and the review of “fall artwork,” according to the newsletter obtained by Rantz.
David Malkin, whose 7-year-old son attends BF Day, called the decision an “exercise in rich white vanity that is awakening.”
“I don’t see any way this actually addresses inequities to the extent that there are iniquities,” Malkin told Rantz on his show on Monday. “You know, this just looks like a performance by the principal and staff who are mostly white.”
Malkin, who is Asian, said his parents were not involved in the decision.
“I’m sure they don’t want to hear from anyone of any race or ethnicity who doesn’t really want to get along with them,” he said.
[ https://patriotrising.com/man-the-west-coast-sucks-seattle-school-cancels-halloween-parade-because-it-marginalizes-students-of-color/ https://d26toa8f6ahusa.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/30214746/a-quiet-place-part-2-bigs-16.pdf