(NEW YORK) — An elementary school in Connecticut has decided to eliminate Halloween celebrations this year, citing the “safety and exclusion of students.”
The principal of Lillie B. Haynes elementary school in Niantic, Connecticut, announced the policy change in a letter sent to parents on Oct. 19. The letter, which was provided to ABC News, said students will no longer be able to wear Halloween costumes to school.
The school also canceled its Halloween parade, choosing instead to hold classroom celebrations that will be “Fall themed, not Halloween.”
“With increasing societal safety concerns, the number of adults who attend this event, some in costumes, poses a potential safety threat,” the letter from principal Melissa DeLoreto reads in part. “Also, in the past students have been excluded from participating due to religion, cultural beliefs etc.”
The elementary school serves more than 300 students from kindergarten through fourth grade. School district officials and the PTA president of Lillie B. Haynes did not respond to ABC News’ request for comment.
Lillie B. Haynes is not the first school to change its Halloween policy this year.
Miller Elementary School in Canton, Michigan, told school parents earlier this month it would be canceling its longtime Halloween parade tradition. Instead, the school is hosting Haunted Hallways next week inside the school.
“In lieu of the Halloween Day Parade of the past, collaboration with feedback from staff and families led to a decision to allow students to come to school in costume on Halloween Day, during which students will have fun doing various curricular-based activities related to Halloween throughout the school day,” Miller Elementary Principal Blair Klco told ABC News in a statement.
Some schools have also reportedly taken the extra step this year of asking students and parents not to dress in clown costumes due to the recent surge of clown threats and clown sightings.
The scary clown craze prompted Target to remove clown masks from its shelves just weeks before Halloween. The decision was made out of “sensitivity to the issue at hand,” a Target representative told ABC News this week.
The widespread clown craze has even led the White House to say it is a situation that should be taken “quite seriously.”
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