A school district in New York state said Thursday it had banned children from wearing Halloween costumes from Netflix sensation Squid Game over concerns they might glorify violence.
The dystopian South Korean thriller sees hundreds of cash-strapped individuals 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.
Fayetteville-Manlius school district, some 250 miles (400 kilometres) north of New York City, wrote to parents 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 our younger students.”
Tice added that some students 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 recess.”
Squid Game became Netflix’s biggest show ever, watched by 142 million households in the four weeks after its release in mid-September.
The streaming platform told investors earlier this month that Squid Game-themed products were on their way to retail outlets.
Earlier this month, reports said schools in England had warned parents that children were reenacting games from the series, which is intended to be viewed by mature audiences.