A Seattle elementary school’s annual Halloween parade has been cancelled after five years to be sensitive to students of color. Administrators of Benjamin Franklin Day Elementary School have determined that a number of students, especially African American boys, do not celebrate Halloween and feel excluded by the annual event.
The Daily Mail reports the school believes the parade “marginalizes” students of color. The school is also forbidding students from wearing costumes to school on the holiday. The school notified parents via an October 8 newsletter.
“As a school with foundational beliefs around equity for our students and families, we are moving away from our traditional ‘Pumpkin Parade’ event and requesting that students do not come to school in costumes” stated the newsletter.
The Seattle school’s annual ‘Pumpkin Parade’ would consist of the students dressing in costumes and march together through the school. However, in an attempt to be “sensitive” the school was actually quite offensive in saying the parade is upsetting to children who can’t afford a Halloween costume, especially African American boys.
The newsletter also stated the loud noise levels from the Parade as well as the crowds are triggering to some kids; another reason to cancel the annual fun. But who needs fun when the newsletter explains the replacement will be a “more inclusive” activity such as a thematic study of the fall season and a lesson on autumnal artwork.
At least one parents of a student of color has in deed taken issue with the school’s decision to cancel the parade, as well as the fact that the school did not ask for any parental input before the decision was made.
A school spokesperson told The Jason Rantz Show, a local news station KTTH Radio, that “historically, the Pumpkin Parade marginalizes students of color who do not celebrate this holiday.”
“Specifically, these students have requested to be isolated on campus while the event took place” and due to the schools “unwavering commitment to students of color, specifically African American males, the staff is committed to supplanting the Pumpkin Parade with more inclusive and education opportunities during the school day.”