Cancel the pumpkin

Much mockery about this story of a primary school canceling a Halloween parade:

An elementary school in Seattle has cancelled its annual Halloween parade this year as the event “marginalises students of colour who do not celebrate the holiday”.

The Benjamin Franklin Day Elementary School’s racial equity team decided to cancel the “Pumpkin Parade”, where students dress up in Halloween costumes, after deliberating for five years. Parents were told about their decision on 8 October through a newsletter.

In the newsletter sent to parents, the school noted that costume parties could become uncomfortable for some students and distract them from learning.

Halloween events create a situation where some students must be “excluded for their beliefs, financial status, or life experience”, the school said. “It’s uncomfortable and upsetting for kids”. According to nonprofit organisation GreatSchools, 15 per cent of the students at the elementary school belong to low-income families.

So it’s not so much about students of color as it is about students of not much money. Here’s a shocker: I don’t think this decision is absurd; on the contrary, I wonder why schools need “Halloween parades” in the first place. Halloween is a pseudo-holiday that’s been inflating absurdly over the past…I don’t know, decade? Couple of decades? So apparently schools are joining in, but that seems stupid to me. Halloween is basically about demanding candy from the neighbors. It’s also about the fun of dressing up, but what’s that got to do with school? Nothing.

Holidays are all, without exception, gigantic marketing opportunities, and that’s how they get so ridiculously inflated. Somebody is making a fortune out of conning people into buying yards and yards of white fluff that is supposed to suggest cobwebs and spoils the appearance of October front gardens. Schools don’t need to observe Halloween.

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