By Tony Aiello

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Halloween costumes reflecting the Netflix hit “Squid Game” are popular this year, but they’re not allowed in one New York school district.

Three elementary schools near Syracuse are banning “Squid Game” costumes – which mostly consist of jump suits, track suits and masks – at Halloween events, CBS2’s Tony Aiello reported Monday.

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The Fayetteville-Manlius district said they “do not meet our school costume guidelines due to the potential violent message aligned with the costume.”

The Korean survival drama is about people in debt hoping to win a bundle of cash by competing in kids games. Losers are eliminated, literally. The body count is high. The violence is graphic.

Aiello spoke with five parents in the Bronx who all said they believe the upstate schools are overreacting.

“It’s a costume. Just don’t let your kids watch the show,” one woman said.

“For a school to actually impose that, that’s being very overbearing,” one man said.

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The superintendent in White Plains said “Squid Game” costumes won’t be banned there, calling that a “slippery slope.” Pirates, for example, were historically violent outlaws.

“We understand that different types of costumes have different types of experience and historical connections, and it’s hard to single out one particular type of costume and say that’s not allowed,” said Dr. Joseph Ricca.

Ricca said the bigger issue is kids who’ve seen or heard about “Squid Game” mimicking the show.

“One of the things we’ve been hearing about in school districts all across the country, is children coming to school and playing squid games on the playground,” Ricca said. “It’s never appropriate to play at harming one another and that really is the guiding principle here.”

“Squid Game” is hot for Halloween, just check Instagram. There’s a good chance you’ll have one of the characters at your door saying “trick or treat.”

The costume controversy involves just a handful of schools. In addition to the three near Syracuse, a school in Ireland and another in Spain have banned “Squid Game” costumes.

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This story first appeared on October 25, 2021.

Tony Aiello