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Three elementary schools in upstate New York ban Squid Game Halloween costumes

Three elementary schools in upstate New York have banned Halloween costumes from the Netflix smash hit Squid Game, saying they could frighten younger students.

The schools - Mott Road, Enders Road, and Fayetteville Elementary - are all part of the Fayetteville-Manlius School District near Syracuse.

Principals from all three have written to parents saying that the costumes are banned.

Squid Game, the most-viewed Netflix show ever, shows a group of people competing for cash in a series of challenges. If they fail to compete the challenge correctly, they are murdered by mask-wearing minions.

The series, made in South Korea, was seen by 111 million people in the month since September, when it launched.

Parents of children at Mott Road were told that the clothing worn by the minions was an unacceptable outfit. 

A girl wearing a costume from Netflix series Squid Game is seen in front of the giant robot doll from the series at the Olympic Park in Seoul on Tuesday. Netflix have installed a replica of the giant robot doll that appears in the first episode

A person is seen wearing a Squid Game guard's costume at Comic Con in London on Sunday. The costumes have been banned by three upstate New York schools

'Due to concerns about the potential violent nature of the game, it is inappropriate for recess play or discussion at school,' the letter said.

'Additionally, a Halloween costume from this show does not meet our school costume guidelines due to the potential violent message aligned with the costume.' 

Dr Craig Tice, the superintendent of the district, said that Scream masks and costumes from the film Friday 13th had already been banned. 

'Our principals wanted to make sure our families are aware that it would be inappropriate for any student to wear to school a Halloween costume from this show because of the potential violent messages aligned with the costume,' Tice told CNY Central. 

He added that parents should talk to their children about the show, and remind them why it was not allowed to re-enact violent television programs at school. 

Children are pictured setting out to go Trick or Treating last year

This year the favorite costume for kids is Spider Man, according to the National Retail Federation

Squid Game masks are pictured for sale in Hong Kong on Monday, ahead of Halloween

A person in Indonesia models the guard uniform. The series, made in South Korea, has been seen by 111 million people worldwide

'They also wanted families to be aware that some of our younger students are talking about and mimicking aspects of the show/game at school so parents and guardians would have the opportunity to speak with their children themselves about it and reinforce the school message that games associated with violent behavior are not appropriate for recess,' Tice added.

The National Retail Federation (NRF) in September reported that the most popular costumes for children this year were Spider-Man, a princess, Batman, a superhero and a witch.

More than 1.8 million children plan to dress as Spiderman, more than 1.6 million as their favorite princess, more than 1.2 million as Batman and more than 1.2 million will dress as one of their other favorite superheroes, according to the NRF.

Consumer spending on Halloween-related items is expected to reach an all-time high of $10.14 billion, they reported - up from $8.05 billion in 2020.