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petek, 3 decembra, 2021

USA: School cancels Halloween, saying Black kids don’t celebrate

By: V4 Agency

A school’s administration has cancelled Halloween celebrations over concerns about student equity and inclusion because Black boys did not want to participate.

A Seattle elementary school has cancelled Halloween activities because Black males do not celebrate and, more generally, students of colour feel marginalised by the holiday.

The school delivered the news in a newsletter to parents on 8 October. “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 newsletter reads.

According to the school, the decision is meant to show respect for all its students.

The text of the newsletter continues with, “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 enjoy the situation, but others experience over stimulation, and they must deal with complex feelings of exclusion. It’s uncomfortable and upsetting for kids.”

Instead, students can partake in inclusive autumn events like “thematic units of study about the fall.” They may also review “autumnal artwork” while “sharing all the cozy feelings of the season.”

The newsletter ends by thanking the parents for their support, though they had no role in the decision making process. The school didn’t even consult them. It then pitches for parents to join the Racial Equity Committee, which pushed the decision to cut Halloween festivities.

According to a Seattle Public Schools spokesperson, the decision came from the school’s Racial Equity Team after years of discussion.

“At Benjamin Franklin 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 said, adding that other Seattle schools have also cancelled Halloween festivities recently.

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