Video: Berkeley elementary school bans ethnically-based Halloween costumes



BERKELEY (KRON) — Halloween is more than two weeks away, and one Berkeley elementary school is giving fair warning that ethnically based costumes will not be allowed.

Some parents at Rosa Parks Elementary School see it as an attack on Halloween, and the fun of dressing up in costume. But the rules at Rosa Parks Elementary are designed to keep students from feeling made fun of because of their heritage.

The rules prohibit any costume that is racially or ethnically based. Some examples of what not to wear — Arab costume, Hey Amigo costume, or a Native American costume. These costumes and others like them are not allowed on campus because of cultural sensitivity.

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“We are a very culture conscious school, and any costume that depicts a certain racial group or a certain culture in a way that everybody wouldn’t want to be seen, we ask the kids not to do,” teacher Mary Martin said.

Some parents agree with the policy.

“My son is 5, so it should not be difficult to find something appropriate for him to wear, I guess,” one parent said.

“Some of the things that they asked people to not do…we already don’t do,” another parent said.

“We ask the kids not to dress up in something that would only be depicted with a certain culture because we want the kids to respect all cultures,” Martin said.

Spider-Man or Superman are still OK.


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