Netflix's hit show "Squid Game" may center around popular children's games, but school officials say the notorious red and green jumpsuits have no place on the playground.
At least three elementary schools in New York have banned "Squid Game" costumes ahead of Halloween over the "violent messages aligned with the costume," Fayetteville-Manlius School District Superintendent Dr. Craig Tice told USA TODAY.
"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 said in an e-mailed statement, adding that the show is "intended for mature audiences."
'Squid Game' has taken over the internet. Now, it plans to take over Halloween.
In "Squid Game," a group of desperate, impoverished people risk their lives and compete in deadly children's games for the chance to win a huge cash prize. It is filled with blood-soaked murders, psychological cruelties and ruthless death games. But despite its gore, it has become Netflix's biggest show of all time, the streaming service claims.
According to Netflix, the show is for "mature audiences" and "may not be suitable for ages 17 and under" due to "language, violence, sex, nudity, suicide, smoking."
But the pop culture phenomenon has made its way to recess, Tice said. He explained that the Fayetteville-Manlius School District – which includes three elementary schools, less than 15 miles from Syracuse, New York – made the decision to ban "Squid Game" costumes after staff members noticed students "mimicking" the show's violent games.
"Some of our younger students are talking about and mimicking aspects of the show/game at school," Tice said in a statement. "Parents and guardians … 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."
Other Halloween costumes that are "too gory or scary" or include weapons, like toy guns and swords, are also prohibited, Tice said.
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Another school district in Panama City, Florida, has made a similar observation, informing parents that students are trying to "hurt each other in the name of this 'game.' "
"Some children are trying to replicate show scenes at school but what sounds harmless (who didn't play Red Light/Green Light as a kid?) is not actually harmless because the game in the television show includes 'elimination' (death) and we are seeing kids trying to actually hurt each other in the name of this 'game,' " Bay District Schools wrote on Facebook earlier this month.
Contributing: Jenna Ryu
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 'Squid Game' costumes banned after students 'mimic' violence