An elementary school in Seattle canceled its annual Halloween parade this year as the event “marginalizes students of color who do not celebrate the holiday.”
The racial equity team at Benjamin Franklin Day Elementary School decided to cancel the “Pumpkin Parade,” where students dress up for Halloween, after deliberating for five years. Parents were informed of their decision on October 8th through a newsletter.
“Historically, the Pumpkin Parade marginalizes students of color who do not celebrate the holiday. Specifically, these students have requested to be isolated on campus while the event is taking place, “said a spokesman for the Seattle Public Schools. Radio KTTH. “There are numerous community and neighborhood events where students and families who want to can celebrate Halloween.”
In the newsletter sent to parents, the school noted that costume parties could be uncomfortable for some students and distract them from learning.
Halloween events create a situation where some students must be “excluded because of their beliefs, financial status or life experience,” the school said. “It is uncomfortable and annoying for children.” According to the non-profit organization GreatSchools, 15 percent of elementary school students are from low-income families.
In partnership with its commitment to students of color, specifically African Americans, the staff will replace the annual event with “more inclusive and educational opportunities during the school day,” the newsletter added.
The school clarified that the decision was not related to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
Director Stanley Jaskot confirmed the cancellation of the parade for Fox News. “I agree that this event marginalized our students of color. Several of our students historically opted for an alternative activity in the library while the Pumpkin Parade was going on, ”he said.
Parents were reportedly not included in the decision-making process and only informed last week. David Malkin, whose son attends elementary school, said Radio KTTH that the decision was an “exercise in the well-off white vanity that is awakening.”