Rantz: Local schools again ban Halloween in concerning trend

Oct 30, 2023, 7:10 PM


Kids start trick-or-treating in the early afternoon on Halloween. (MyNorthwest file photo)

(MyNorthwest file photo)

Washington schools have continued the trend of banning Halloween events for kids. They say it’s about equity, but it’s really about educators signaling their virtue.

The Marysville School District told parents “Halloween celebrations will not be permitted during school hours.” In an email to parents, the district said the decision was made to “better maintain an environment where each and every student feels safe, comfortable, and valued.”

Benjamin Franklin Day Elementary in Seattle bluntly tells parents, “We do not celebrate Halloween at B.F. Day. Please send your child in play clothes, no costumes.” The school lists Oct. 31 on the calendar as “No Halloween celebration.” The school previously justified the decision by effectively arguing black families don’t celebrate.

At Seattle Hill Elementary in Everett, a teacher told parent-volunteers that they would celebrate a fall-themed day. But she warned that the events couldn’t celebrate Halloween because “it isolates too many families that do not celebrate” the secular holiday.

There are, of course, more schools and districts placing restrictions on Halloween celebrations. While this isn’t new, this trend should concern parents because it’s a lasting remnant of the empty and dangerous equity movement implemented after the Black Lives Matter rallies and riots.

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Halloween bans are concerning

Listeners to The Jason Rantz Show on KTTH wrote in with news that their kids’ schools followed the new tradition of banning Halloween, while noting the irony of what classrooms will celebrate. It proves the so-called concerns expressed by educators are unserious.

An oft-used excuse to cancel Halloween is that not everyone celebrates. So what? Not everyone celebrates or commemorates Thanksgiving, Independence Day, Juneteenth, or Presidents Day. There are, obviously, many non-secular holidays that aren’t celebrated, either. Yet students are often provided curriculum around the holidays and, of course, days off from school.

If they don’t want to celebrate, they don’t have to celebrate. It’s an extremely small group of students with parents who would object. Why would an infinitesimal number of students dictate the policy? Moreover, most Washington students do not celebrate Dia de los Muertos. Yet, as one listener pointed out, the school his child attends celebrates the Day of the Dead.

Another listener says her child’s school ditches Halloween, but allows for “book character day where you dress up like a book character.” This is Halloween without the label. Why is it only offensive or unacceptable if you label it Halloween?

Why not make this about tolerance?

This idea that Halloween is “exclusionary” could be an opportunity to make the holiday about accepting people who don’t celebrate (or those who do celebrate). They’re already pushing this lesson on kids daily.

Good luck finding a school that doesn’t embrace lessons around LGBT tolerance. Though there are no 10-year-old transgender kids in a school, they’ll still push tolerance and acceptance. Tolerance is, of course, a worthy pursuit no matter what your thoughts are on gender identity extremism on campuses.

Can we not extend that tolerance to most kids who celebrate the holiday?

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The equity scam

This movement was never about tolerance or equity. It was about the appearance of tolerance and equity.

It’s mostly white, progressive educators and school boards making the decision to cancel Halloween. They’re doing it through an “equity lens” that signals they’re part of the “evolved” way of thinking about social issues. They’re not actually evolved on any issues, but they’ll certainly tell you that they are. They’ll tell you that a lot. Over and over again. Seriously, they won’t stop telling you how they’re anti-racist activists who understand their own privilege and will seek to play a literal white knight for their “BIPOC” students. Now, please kindly “like” their Instagram post. #IAmAHero

While those educators fawn over themselves, kids will have friends at schools that do celebrate because, thankfully, not all schools are open to the ban. In the case of Marysville, after swift pushback, the district reversed course. In the name of not leaving kids out, these woke schools are doing precisely that. If these left-wing educators get to dress up as heroes on Halloween, perhaps we should let kids wear costumes, too. Is it fair that only educators get to pretend to be heroes on Halloween?

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show on weekday afternoons from 3-6 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here. Follow Jason on X, formerly known as TwitterInstagram and Facebook.

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