Elementary School Bans Cultural Halloween Costumes

Posted By Charlie Ballard October 21st, 2015 Last Updated on: October 31st, 2018

Last week Rosa Parks Elementary School of Berkeley, California., officially banned culturally inappropriate costumes for Halloween.

“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” – KRON4

Berkeley was also one of the first cities in our Nation to discontinue, “Columbus Day”, as a citywide holiday and replace it with, “Indigenous Day”.


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Big J

Crybabies. I can only imagine our ancestors shaking heir heads seeing such weakness of emotions. We wear other cultures stuff daily otherwise most of us would be in loin cloths and grass skirts. Damn shame. Glad I raised my kids to not have the victim mentality finding offense everywhere.

Billie jo

I never said that I know what regalia is and what they are used for as you can see the costumes don’t really come close but children like to pretend what I’m saying is children love to be princess of any sort and boys love to be heros or strong there is nothing wrong with them dressing up again I believe what I believe and you believe what you believe . I would feel the way you do to I guess if I wasn’t raised in a native school and area , sorry that it makes you upset . I am basically saying people seem to always take everything to heart . It shouldn’t always be that way and if it offends you then explain why . See our schools have Indian education where I myself and my husband went it was a program in our school for natives to come together and share we also have pow wows and teach others that aren’t native about our traditions and things it helps everyone understand better but this is something our area does wish more schools would do this because I remember my dad telling me how hard it was for him .


So does this only apply to white kids? Can an American Indian dress like an Indian, or is that banned too?


It’s still regalia, not a costume. So no, native students reserve their regalia for cultural events, not one with pagan origins. I think this is a great thing for them to do.

Kristina Linger

What exactly are they suppose to wear? If they would have thought this through, then every costume is going to be racial or ethnically theme to it. Jason, Freddy, and Michael Myers are all based on white unbalanced men who enjoy killing, Chucky the doll is a Mexican drug dealer I believe with his soul in a doll. My question is what are the children suppose to dress up as? A witch- a white woman with a green face and warts all over the place. Whats wrong if they dress up as Pocohantas or Jasmine?


The difference is that the regalia (dresses, feathers, etc.) have a significant cultural background – they are not costumes. There are plenty of other costume ideas, for instance, job uniforms, fantasy creatures, animals, … be creative, not offensive. As with the witch, the green face shows the fantasy aspect, not the race.

Last year, one guy went as a letter of complaint, he wore two sheets of cardboard with the letter printed on it. You can also be a tornado or a frying pan.

With Disney’s Pocahontas, basically everything is inaccurate. The written sources may be rare, but there is enough to doubt Disney’s interpretation. The dress, the age of her (she was between 9 -13 years old), the history…she got kidnapped, John Smith wrote in his diary that he never had a relationship with her, etc…. Although she would be a nice, non-white strong figure as a Disney princess, she is the result of a projection, not accurate portraying herself or her people. With Jasmine we have the problems of orientalism (western view on arabic culture), also a projection of western ideas about Arabian lifes and country on the people. Her bellydancing clothes are the best example of erotic western imagination, when the dresses for women varied greatly from time period and ethnic background.

Candy Harding

It’s offencive to us unless you are Aboriginal most of us don’t say Native Americans anymoresome do though Kristina would you dress up in a Pope’s outfit and go into a church and get up on the podium and act a fool no you wouldn’t why.. it be offencive wouldn’t it… what we wear you call costumes these are our ways of life these Costumes that you wear represent us and they are called Regalia’s they are Sacred to us to some a culture just a word for us Kristina Linger culture is away of LIFE say… a headdress is worn by teen or grown up Halloween is not just for the young as you stated you see Kristina a headdress is not to be worn by just anyone not even me each feather is added at a differnt time from each other each one is earn it may take many years before a headdress is full done on top of all this hun our regalia that we wear is made by hand and also takes many years up to 25 years before one is fully done to simply put one on and wear it no matter what age when you are not Aboriginal is extremely offencive when it takes us years to build one and wear it ourselves

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