Seattle school cancels Halloween parade over equity issues

SEATTLE (AP) – A Seattle Public Schools elementary school has canceled its Halloween parade, saying the event has historically marginalized colored students who do not celebrate the holiday.

Seattle Public Schools said in an emailed statement that the BF Day Elementary School’s Race and Equity Team had been discussing the parade for at least five years, the Seattle Times reported. The team with staff had recommended that the parade be canceled, the statement said.

The district said in an email that some students “requested isolation on campus while the event was taking place.”

School district officials and school principal Stanley Jaskot declined to answer questions from the newspaper about the cancellation.

The statement cited the district’s “unwavering commitment to colored students” when announcing a “commitment to replace the pumpkin parade with more inclusive and educational opportunities during the school day”.

School district officials said they had received no complaints about the costume parade from families at the school in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood.

“Halloween celebrations are becoming increasingly rare in schools both within SPS and in the surrounding districts,” the statement said.

Lisa Rivera-Smith, the Seattle School Board member who represents the region, including the school, said although no voters contacted her about it, she could see how some students may or may not have the resources can’t afford to buy Halloween costumes and how that “might split”.

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