School District in Seattle Bans Halloween Citing Sensitivity to Wiccans

October 22, 2004

Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer

On October 22, 2004 the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported that, "assistant Superintendent Tony Apostle advised Puyallup principals in a memo last week that Halloween costumes and parties are now banned. Pumpkins and cornstalks are fine, he said, but witches, black cats or 'similar decorations that are intended to frighten or scare individuals' are not. Halloween is a religious holiday for Wiccans, the memo noted, and its celebration in mainstream culture has generated unsavory images that might offend real-life witches... But one Wiccan leader was cynical about the school district's motivation. Pete Davis, pastor of Aquarian Tabernacle Church in tiny Index, west of Stevens Pass, suggests that the ban is a thinly veiled attempt to banish a holiday seen by some Christians as an evil festival."