MONTCLAIR, NJ - Parents looking to buy Halloween or Harvest Festival costumes for their children are being strongly discouraged from purchasing clown costumes by law enforcement and school officials.
Montclair Schools Superintendent Ronald Bolandi issued a statement, citing safety concerns as the reason for the ban.
In recent months, creepy clown sightings have occurred throughout the nation and in many New Jersey communities. There have also been numerous reports and rumors of people wearing clown costumes being injured or killed. Individuals have also been arrested after posing 'creepy clown' threats on social media, of which Bolandi cited. Therefore, school officials are taking precautions.
The letter issued to parents on October 6 read as follows:
Dear Families/Caregivers and Staff,
In the news there has been a rash of local and national “creepy clown” sightings and threats on social media. Principals have been receiving phone calls regarding clowns and our procedures; therefore, this email will serve as a response to your inquiries.
Please note we are being diligent and proactive working with the Montclair Police Department to ensure security throughout our buildings and grounds.
We ask that you please talk to your children about the dangers of copycat behavior. Recently in New Jersey incidents of social media threats by students alleging their actions were “just a prank,” have led to their arrests for cyber harassment and terroristic threats. Any threatening email or post on social media will be investigated by the police, and the person responsible risks legal consequences, regardless if the intent was harmless, a hoax, or copycat in nature.
With Halloween just a few weeks away, I am asking for your cooperation in not allowing your children to dress up as clowns at any school event due to the possible disruption and fear it may cause. If anyone shows up with a clown related costume, they will be asked to change or sent home.
You can be assured that your children’s safety is our utmost priority. Don’t hesitate to report any suspicious behaviors and if you see anything or hear anything, notify the Montclair Police immediately.
Thanking you in advance for your support and cooperation.