One parent called the decision an ‘exercise in the rich white vanity that is awakening’
A Seattle elementary school this year canceled its annual Halloween parade, 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 the racial equity team at Benjamin Franklin Day Elementary School after five years of discussion, the school district said.
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“There are many community and neighborhood events where students and families can celebrate Halloween,” said a spokesperson for Seattle Public Schools. statement made To Jason Rantz, host of the KTTH radio talk show. “Historically, the Pumpkin Parade marginalizes students of color who do not celebrate the holiday. In particular, these students have requested isolation on campus during the event.
“In alliance 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,” the statement continued. Saying that there was nothing in the decision. With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
School principal Stanley Jascott confirmed that the parade has been cancelled.
“Halloween is a very complex issue for schools. Yes, I agree that this event marginalized our students of color. Many of our students historically opted for an alternative activity at the library during the Pumpkin Parade This was an isolated situation and not consistent. With our values of being an inclusive and safe space for all our students – especially students of color and sensitivity to all the noise and excitement of the parade,” Jascott said told Granthshala News.
The school reported the cancellation to parents in an October 8 newspaper asking them not to let their children dress up in costumes this year. The newspaper explained that costume parties can be uncomfortable for many children who can’t afford one and that loud noise levels and crowds can also be distressing for children, Rantz reported.
Instead, this year students will participate in inclusive fall events, such as “thematic units of study about fall” and reviewing “artwork of autumn,” according to the newsletter obtained by Rantz.
David Malkin, whose 7-year-old son attends BF Day, called the decision an “exercise in the rich white vanity that is the awakening”.
“I don’t see any way that it really addresses any inequality to the extent that there is an inequality,” Malkin Rantz. told on his show on Monday. “You know, it just seems like grandeur on the part of the principal and the staff who are predominantly white.”
Malkin, who is Asian, said the parents were not involved in the decision.
“I’m sure they don’t want to hear from anyone of any race or ethnicity who really doesn’t want to go into lockstep with them,” he said.