For all the millions Americans spend every year decorating for Halloween, some communities think it’s inappropriate to dress up as the iconic horror hero.
New York City schools have banned students from wearing squid costumes for Halloween parties this year after first allowing the squid dress-up in previous years. The ban was put in place for safety reasons, according to reports from the NYC Free Press.
“I never dreamed a school would ban a Halloween costume,” said fifth grader Sophia Iglesias of a squid costume she wore last year. “But Squid will never be banned again at my elementary school.”
New Jersey school districts are also banning SpongeBob SquarePants. Many parents are outraged, feeling SpongeBob, a beloved television character, is “offensive to police, the military, the Mexican community, and everyone else,” reports BuzzFeed.
Schools are requiring parents to buy costumes for their kids that don’t include anything resembling a squid, a bluefish, or other reptilian-like creatures, which are more likely to act as weapons, according to reports.
Parents are purchasing costumes in hopes of defeating these bans. Parents in a New Jersey district are purchasing SpongeBob costumes for their children to wear on Halloween so that they don’t have to buy full costumes, reported BuzzFeed.
“Maybe [parents] won’t let their kids wear anything in the way of ink, or eels, or an octopus, or tentacles,” said Rita Hayden, the superintendent of Ocean Township.
California parents are also purchasing glow-in-the-dark costumes for their children, believing these will be exempt from the ban.
“Every year we come out and buy merchandise and we remind the kids to wear clothing with no guts, blood, or even tentacles, and they can go,” said Jennifer Nastasio of Menifee, California.
New Jersey elementary school parents may get help from the Center for Creative Education, which is releasing a statement in response to the Squid Game ban:
“Anything involving tentacles is NOT family friendly.”
Disclosure: The author of this article was once a sixth grader in a small town in Pennsylvania.