Seattle school cancels Halloween parade over equity issues

October 15, 2021 GMT

SEATTLE (AP) — A Seattle Public Schools elementary school has canceled its Halloween parade, saying the event has historically marginalized students of color who don’t celebrate the holiday.

Seattle Public Schools said in an emailed statement that for at least five years, the B.F. Day Elementary School’s Race and Equity Team has been discussing the parade, The Seattle Times reported. The team with staff input, made the recommendation to cancel the parade, the statement said.

The district in an email said some students had “requested to be isolated on campus while the event took place.”

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


The statement cited the district’s “unwavering commitment to students of color” in announcing it was “committed to supplanting the Pumpkin Parade with more inclusive and educational opportunities during the school day.”

School district officials said they haven’t received complaints about the costumed parade from families at the school, which is in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood.

“Holding Halloween celebrations are becoming less common in schools both within SPS and in surrounding districts,” the statement said.

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