-- 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,” read a letter from principal Melissa DeLoreto.
“With increasing societal safety concerns, the number of adults who attend this event, some in costumes, poses a potential safety threat,” it says. “Also, in the past students have been excluded from participating due to religion, cultural beliefs etc.”
The 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.
The school is not the first 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 holding a Haunted Hallways day next week in 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 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 because of the recent surge of clown threats and clown sightings.
The scary clown sightings 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 creepy clown sightings have even led the White House to say it is a situation that should be taken “quite seriously.”