A Seattle elementary school has canceled its upcoming Halloween parade and will ban students from dressing up in costumes on Oct. 31, alleging that the annual event is “marginalizing” students of color whose administrators claim are not celebrating the holiday.
Benjamin Franklin Day Elementary School officials have talked about canceling the annual Pumpkin Parade for five years, but first informed parents of the unilateral decision to cancel it in an Oct. 8 newsletter, according to The Jason Rantz Show on the local newspaper. news station KTTH radio.
“As a school with fundamental beliefs about equality for our students and families, we are moving away from our traditional ‘Pumpkin Parade’ event and asking that students do not come to school in costumes,” reads the newsletter, as seen by the radio host.
The school in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle annually invites students to dress up in costume and march through the school with their peers as part of the Pumpkin Parade.
However, it has decided to cancel the event this year because it could be shocking to kids who can’t afford Halloween costumes and because the loud noise levels and crowds are triggering for some kids, according to the newsletter.
Benjamin Franklin Day Elementary School has canceled its upcoming Halloween parade because it “marginalises” students of color, the district wrote in a newsletter to parents on Oct. 8.
BF Day Elementary School, in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood, annually invites students to dress up in costume and march through the school with their peers as part of the Pumpkin Parade
But administrators claimed that a number of students, especially African-American boys, don’t celebrate Halloween and feel left out of the annual event. Above, a photo from the school district’s Instagram page shows students organizing an event in support of the Black Lives Matter movement
About 15 percent of the school is considered low-income, according to the nonprofit GreatSchools. It’s not clear why the school didn’t opt for alternatives to canceling the parade, such as hosting a community costume ride or a DIY costume activity.
The newsletter states that students will still recognize the fall season by participating in activities the school says are more “inclusive,” such as a fall season thematic study and a class on fall artwork.
The newsletter concludes by thanking parents for their support, despite the fact that parents did not ask for input in the decision. It explains that the decision was defended by the school’s Racial Equality Committee and invites parents to join.
The school defended the decision, saying that a number of students of color opt out of the event every year and feel left out for not celebrating Halloween.
The school defended the decision, saying a number of students of color opt out of the event every year and feel left out for not celebrating Halloween.
The newsletter also claims the event could be shocking to kids who can’t afford Halloween costumes and that the loud noise levels and crowds are triggering for some kids.
“Historically, the Pumpkin Parade marginalizes students of color who don’t celebrate the holidays,” a school spokesperson told Rantz.
‘These students have specifically asked to be isolated on campus during the event. In conjunction with SPS’s unwavering commitment to students of color, particularly African American men, the staff is committed to replacing the Pumpkin Parade with more inclusive and educational opportunities during the school day.”
Headmaster Stanley Jaskot also backed the Racial Equity Committee and confirmed that the parade had been cancelled.
“Halloween is a very complex issue for schools,” she said Fox news. “Yes, I agree that this event has marginalized our color students. Some of our students historically chose an alternative activity in the library while the pumpkin parade was taking place.’
She added: ‘This was an isolating situation and not in keeping with our values of being an inclusive and safe place for all our students – especially students of color and those with a sensitivity to all the noise and excitement of the parade.’
Students will still recognize the fall season by participating in activities the school says are more “inclusive,” such as a thematic study of the fall season and a class on fall art. Above, a photo from the school district’s Instagram page shows students at what appears to be an LGBTQ Pride event
But at least one parent of a colored student has objected to the school’s decision, telling Rantz that parents should have been able to voice their opinion on the matter.
“I don’t see any way this actually addresses any inequality to the extent that there is inequality. You know, this just seems like grandiosity on behalf of the director and the staff, who are predominantly white,” David Malkin, who is of Asian descent, told Rantz.
Malkin has a 7-year-old son enrolled in the school and said that the boy’s favorite holiday is Halloween.
“I’m sure they don’t want to hear from anyone of any race or ethnicity who doesn’t really want to get in line with them,” he added.
Malkin hasn’t told his son about the parade’s cancellation and that he thinks students won’t even understand why the school canceled the parade.
“I hate to see this kind of thing slowly being wiped out and destroyed or abolished because someone has a, you know, theory in their head that this is somehow ruled out, when, again, it’s quite the opposite.” is,’ he said.