School Cancels Halloween Parade Due To Marginalisation Concerns
Due to concerns surrounding marginalisation, a school’s Racial Equity Team in Seattle has cancelled its annual Halloween parade.
The elementary school located in the Fremont neighbourhood usually hosts an annual ‘Pumpkin Parade’ as part of its Halloween festivities, however, this year it announced that the parade would not go ahead as planned.
The Racial Equity Team of Benjamin Franklin Day Elementary School reportedly spent five years discussing the event’s possible cancellation, resolving that it ‘marginalizes students of color who do not celebrate the holiday’.
However, since the announcement on October 8, made in a newsletter, the school has since been called out by parents for the move.
The newsletter spoke of the school’s ‘foundational beliefs around equity for our students and families’, KTTH Radio reports.
It asked students to not attend school wearing costumes and that the school was ‘moving away from [its] traditional ‘Pumpkin Parade’ event’.
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.
The halloween events will instead be replaced with other activities to celebrate the season.
‘Thematic units of study about the fall’ will instead be given to students, where they will be allowed to look at ‘autumnal artwork’ and ‘[share] all the cozy feelings of the season’.
The newsletter concludes by thanking parents for their support and encouraging them to join a Racial Equity Committee.
However, parents have since called out the school’s announcement.
Parent David Malkin, who is Asian, called the move an ‘exercise in affluent white vanity that is wokeism’.
He told the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH that he doesn’t think the cancellation ‘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,’ he said.
A spokesperson for Seattle Public Schools noted how other schools have followed suit in the cancellation of halloween events. She claimed that the holiday is not celebrated by Black students, particularly those who are male and that students had ‘requested to be isolated on campus while the event took place’.
In order to stop students of colour from feeling marginalised, she said that the celebration was therefore cancelled to show ‘alliance with SPS’s unwavering commitment to students of color, specifically African American males’.
The event is therefore being replaced with ‘more inclusive and educational opportunities during the school day’.
If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact Stop Hate UK by visiting their website www.stophateuk.org/talk
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