'Squid Game' Halloween costumes banned from New York schools

Some pupils have been 'mimicking' games from dystopian Netflix thriller, district superintendent says

A school district in New York state has banned children from wearing Halloween costumes from Netflix sensation Squid Game over concerns they might glorify violence.

The dystopian South Korean thriller depicts hundreds of cash-strapped people pitted against each other in traditional children's games. The victor can earn millions but losing players are killed.

Games include marbles, tug of war and red light, green light.

The Fayetteville-Manlius school district, some 400 kilometres north of New York City, wrote to parents this week saying outfits from the show, which include masks and green tracksuits and pink jumpsuits, would not be welcome at its six schools.

“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,” district superintendent Craig Tice said in a statement emailed to AFP.

He said that schools guidelines meant “costumes should not be too gory or scary so as not to scare” younger children.

Mr Tice added that some pupils had been “mimicking” games from the series. The district oversees three elementary schools for children aged 5 to 10.

He said the district hoped parents and guardians would “reinforce the school message that games associated with violent behaviour are not appropriate for break time".

Squid Game became Netflix's biggest show ever, watched by a 142 million households in the four weeks after its release in mid-September.

The streaming platform told investors this month that Squid Game-themed products were on their way to retail outlets.

This month, reports said schools in England had warned parents that children were re-enacting games from the series, which is intended to be viewed by mature audiences.

Updated: October 29th 2021, 9:27 PM
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