Rantz: Seattle school cancels Halloween over ‘equity,’ says Black kids don’t celebrate

Oct 12, 2021, 6:00 PM | Updated: Oct 13, 2021, 12:34 pm
(Getty image + KTTH listener submission)
(Getty image + KTTH listener submission)

A Seattle elementary school canceled Halloween activities over concerns about student equity and inclusion. Specifically, Seattle Public Schools says Black males do not celebrate and, more generally, students of color feel marginalized by the holiday. One parent, however, thinks this is an “exercise in affluent white vanity that is wokeism.”

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.

This year the only thing spooky and creepy is the school’s commitment to wokeness. What could be more equitable than having strangers give you free candy? Not to the school’s Racial Equity Team that decided with staff to gut Halloween.

B.F. Day cancels Halloween

The school delivered the ghoulish news in an Oct. 8 newsletter to parents.

“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.

Even though the news will disappoint students, the newsletter says, the decision is meant to show respect for all B.F. Day students.

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.

Nothing says equity quite like making every student miss out on the fun because some administrator invented a scenario where students feel excluded. And we wouldn’t want to distract students from learning — except, of course, on National Walkout Day when students were allowed to ditch learning to form a giant peace sign in a political protest on gun violence.

While their friends at other schools will dress up as the Mandalorian, Cruella, Jason Rantz, or Wonder Woman, B.F. Day students will still get to celebrate something.

Instead, students will partake in inclusive fall events like “thematic units of study about the fall.” I’m not making that up. It’s the lead event in the newsletter. They may also review “autumnal artwork” while “sharing all the cozy feelings of the season.”

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

Asian parent calls out ‘exercise in affluent white vanity that is wokeism’

David Malkin’s 7-year-old son is enrolled at B.F. Day. He sees this as yet another “exercise in affluent white vanity that is wokeism” that is pursued in his name.

“I don’t see any way in which this actually addresses any inequities to the extent that there are any inequities,” Malkin tells the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH. “You know, this just seems like grandstanding on behalf of the principal and the staff who are predominantly white.”

Malkin, who is Asian, sees this as another move by white progressives that don’t consider what he and others believe. He notes that parents weren’t involved in the decision.

“I’m sure they don’t want to hear from anyone of any race or ethnicity that doesn’t really want to go along with them in lockstep,” he said.

He hasn’t yet told his son about the decision to ban Halloween. Malkin says Halloween is his son’s favorite holiday, and he likely won’t understand why the decision was made. Right now, he says he’s waiting to see how other parents react.

“I hate to see these kinds of things slowly be whittled away and destroyed or being done away with because someone has some, you know, theory in their head that somehow this is exclusionary when, again, it’s quite the opposite,” he said.

The district disagrees. They’re defending the move.

Racial Equity Team killed Halloween

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

“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 told the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH.

The spokesperson says other Seattle schools have also canceled Halloween festivities recently. She claims Black students, particularly males, do not celebrate the secular holiday. The decision was meant to protect them from feeling marginalized.

“Historically, the Pumpkin Parade marginalizes students of color who do not celebrate the holiday,” the spokesperson claimed. “Specifically, these students have requested to be isolated on campus while the event took place. In alliance with SPS’s unwavering commitment to students of color, specifically African American males, the staff is committed to supplanting the Pumpkin Parade with more inclusive and educational opportunities during the school day.”

The district notes COVID played no role in this decision.

The excuses are utter nonsense

It’s unnecessary to cancel Halloween. None of the excuses the school offered make much sense, and it appears they did little even to try to salvage Halloween.

Approximately 15% of the school is considered low-income, according to the nonprofit GreatSchools. Couldn’t the school address the issue effectively? Assuming low-income students don’t celebrate Halloween as administrators seem to believe, couldn’t there be costume-making activities? Perhaps request costumes be donated or maybe use donations to buy some costumes for the kids in need? What about using face paint for students for Halloween designs?

I can’t get over this absurd notion that Black students, or students of color more generally, don’t celebrate Halloween. They can’t actually believe that. It sounds like an excuse a wealthy woke white lady would give after assuming Black families couldn’t afford the expensive, gender-neutral costume she forced her son to wear. Canceling Halloween and placing a BLM lawn sign on their perfectly manicured lawn is about all she’s done to advance the cause she pretends to be passionate about.

The celebrations only marginalize students of color who don’t celebrate Halloween? Are white students who don’t celebrate able to cope better, or do all white families enjoy the free candy and costumes?

You could spend days picking apart the excuses. But the bottom line is the school and district don’t think Black kids can afford costumes and that there might be some cultural aversion to Halloween. It’s a racist belief but one they hold in the name of equity. Meanwhile, all the school is doing is making every student equally miserable.

Did you like this opinion piece? Then listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday afternoons from 3–6 pm on KTTH 770 AM (H.D. Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here. Follow @JasonRantz  on  Twitter,  Instagram, and Parler, and like me on Facebook

Jason Rantz on AM 770 KTTH
  • listen to jason rantzTune in to AM 770 KTTH weekdays at 3-6pm toThe Jason Rantz Show.

Jason Rantz Show

Jason Rantz

Frank Sumrall

State Rep: ‘None of these locations are suitable’ for a future airport

According to Jason Rantz, the acting chairman of CACC, Warren Hendrickson, stated he believes none of the airport locations will move forward.
2 days ago
Frank Sumrall

Ballard brewery owner nearly loses business to homeless fire

Bad Jimmy’s Brewing Co. in Ballard was nearly destroyed after a fire created by a homeless person nearly engulfed the property in flames.
3 days ago
Jason Rantz

Rantz: Shocking ignorance as Seattle Public Health blames drug ODs on racism, drug laws

Seattle Public Health is breathtakingly out of touch with the local drug crisis. It's no wonder more addicts keep dying on our streets.
4 days ago
Max Gross

Gross: Can anti-intrusion fog system stop Seattle crime in its tracks?

DensityUSA makes ‘anti-intrusion fogging systems’ that are meant to make it impossible for criminals to see once a break-in occurs.
5 days ago
women prison inmates...
Jason Rantz Show

WA Rep: Bill to protect women inmates, transgenders ‘going nowhere’

WA Rep. Jacobsen co-authored a bill that proposes if someone's been convicted of sex crimes, they cannot be housed near women inmates.
5 days ago
Jason Rantz

Rantz: Identity-obsessed Progressives can’t fathom crime without racism

We were shocked, disgusted, and maybe angry, but we saw them for what they were without defaulting the blame on racism.
6 days ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Rantz: Seattle school cancels Halloween over ‘equity,’ says Black kids don’t celebrate