An elementary school in Seattle recently announced it was canceling Halloween because of concerns regarding equity and inclusion. Seattle Public Schools justified this decision by claiming black males do not celebrate the holiday, and that students of color, in general, are marginalized by the celebration.
Conservative commentator Jason Rantz reported:
Benjamin Franklin Day Elementary (B.F. Day) in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood typically hosts Halloween festivities each year. They include a “Pumpkin Parade” where students wear costumes if they choose. But the school administration changed its focus to “foundational beliefs around equity for our students and families,” and, consequently, they’re canceling Halloween.
The school made the announcement in a newsletter sent to parents on October 8. It read:
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.
The message explained that this move is intended to cultivate a more inclusive environment:
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.
The idea to kill Halloween celebrations was made by the school’s Racial Equity Team, which had been pushing for this for years. A spokesperson told Rantz:
At B.F. Day Elementary, there have been discussions about the school’s Pumpkin Parade every year for at least the past five years. The school Racial Equity Team brought the topic up again in September and the members (with staff input) made the recommendation listed in the newsletter post.
The spokesperson also argued that “the Pumpkin Parade marginalizes students of color who do not celebrate the holiday,” and that “these students have requested to be isolated on campus while the event took place.”
However, all is not lost.
The school will replace Halloween celebrations with “more inclusive and educational opportunities during the school day.” Students will be treated to events like “thematic units of study about the fall,” and will view “autumnal artwork.”
The decision to cancel Halloween seems to be motivated by the notion that poor students – who are mostly black – are unable to afford costumes. Indeed, Rantz noted that “approximately 15% of the school is considered low-income.”
However, as he points out, there are other ways they could have addressed the situation. They could have solicited costume donations from the community, raised funds to help low-income kids get costumes, held an event to make costumes, or get the parents involved. Actually, scratch that – they never even consulted with parents on this braindead idea.
There is absolutely no excuse to cancel the celebration.
The notion that black students don’t celebrate Halloween is absurd on its face. Nobody believes that – including the ones saying it. If these white progressive types actually cared about students of color not being able to participate because they lack a costume, they could have easily stepped up and helped. But this is not how the white leftist thinks.
Punishing the whole school because some kids might not have easy access to Halloween costumes is classic progressive thought. Instead of lifting up these children by finding ways to get costumes for them, they are choosing to bring everyone else down. This tendency has shown its face in plenty of other ways in which white progressives seek to “help” black and brown people through far-left policies that do more harm than good. Hopefully, the city will still allow children to trick or treat.