US schools ban clown costumes on Halloween

  • 07/10/2016
A woman in clown makeup directs traffic in Vancouver during Halloween (Reuters)
A woman in clown makeup directs traffic in Vancouver during Halloween (Reuters)

Clown costumes have been forbidden by nearly 50 schools in New Haven, Connecticut, after a series of creepy clown appearances across the city.

The new trend has caused security fears throughout the US over the past week and wasted countless hours of police time, when what appear to be threats are instead exposed as hoaxes.

New Haven has been struck by the prank more than most US cities, and a police spokesperson was forced to make a statement on Tuesday (local time), in an effort to quell the community's concerns.

"At this time we are considering this to be nothing more than a prank and harassment fuelled by social media," Superintendent Garth Harries said.

And now it appears the authorities are doing all they can to put an end to further creepy clown behaviour by banning schoolchildren dressing up as the once jovial characters for Halloween, on October 31.

The New Haven school district released a statement notifying schools of the decision.

"Unfortunately, clown-themed posturing has been a growing trend throughout the country, particularly on social media," it said.

It also asked that "principals and building leaders prohibit clown costumes and any symbols of terror during this Halloween season".

"To ensure student safety, parents are encouraged to assist in ensuring students refrain from these costumes this season."

As a result of the continued bad publicity that clowns have been receiving in the last week or so, a 'Clown Lives Matter' march has been organised in Tucson, Arizona next week.

The organisers said the march "is a peaceful way to show clowns are not psycho killers".

"We want the public to feel safe and not be afraid. So come out, bring the family, meet a clown and get a hug!" they said.

The creepy clown trend has spread outside of the US, with New Zealand now finding itself embroiled in the scary new phenomenon too.