Seattle school cancels 'disruptive' Halloween parade for 'marginalizing students of color'

'Halloween is a very complex issue for schools. Yes, I agree this event marginalized our students of color,' school principal Stanley Jaskot said

                            Seattle school cancels 'disruptive' Halloween parade for 'marginalizing students of color'
Image used for representation only (Getty Images/ shironosov)

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON: An elementary school in Seattle has decided not to organize an annual Halloween parade this year as it believes the event “marginalizes students of color who do not celebrate the holiday.” The authorities of the Benjamin Franklin Day Elementary School have taken the decision after five years of discussion, the school district said.

The school informed the parents about the new decision through a newsletter on October 8. It states, “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.”

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The newsletter continued, “Halloween events create a situation where some students must be excluded for their beliefs, financial status, or life experience. Costume parties often become an uncomfortable event for many children, and they distract students and staff from learning. Large events create changes in schedules with loud noise levels and crowds. Some students experience over stimulation, while others must deal with complex feelings of exclusion. It’s uncomfortable and upsetting for kids,” before adding: “In alliance with SPS’s unwavering commitment to students of color, specifically African American males, the staff is committed to supplanting the Pumpkin Parade with more inclusive and educational opportunities during the school day.”

School principal Stanley Jaskot also confirmed the cancellation and said, “Halloween is a very complex issue for schools,” as she accepted that it’s the reason behind the marginalization of the school’s students of color. She added, “Several of our students historically opted for an alternate activity in the library while the pumpkin parade took place. This was an isolating situation and not consistent 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.”

But one of the parents did not seem happy with the school’s decision. David Malkin, who is an Asian and his 7-year-old son goes to Benjamin Franklin Day Elementary School, called it an “exercise in affluent White vanity that is wokeism.” He told the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH: “I don’t see any way in which this actually addresses any inequities to the extent that there are any inequities. You know, this just seems like grandstanding on behalf of the principal and the staff who are predominantly white.”

Malkin added: “I’m sure they don’t want to hear from anyone of any race or ethnicity that doesn’t really want to go along with them in lockstep. I hate to see these kinds of things slowly be whittled away and destroyed or being done away with because someone has some, you know, theory in their head that somehow this is exclusionary when, again, it’s quite the opposite.”

Meanwhile, several people on the internet also have expressed their thoughts about the school’s decision. A person tweeted, “Political correctness taken wayyyyyyyyy too far.” The second one wrote, “Isn't it racially insensitive to the people who DO celebrate it for the school to cancel it? Maybe the complainers should use this opportunity to show some tolerance  for the customs of others.” “So ridiculous. My daughter isn20, my son 18 and Years and years ago my kids school changed the ‘Halloween’ stuff to ‘Fall’ stuff.  ‘Christmas’ events to ‘Winter’ events. This isnt hard to modify events to be more inclusive without canceling all together,” a user added.




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