SCOTCH PLAINS-FANWOOD, NJ -- The Scotch Plains-Fanwood school advised middle school parents via email that students should not wear costumes to school on Halloween, Monday, October 31. However, elementary school principals will set the standards for their students.

"We respectfully asked that middle school students not wear clown costumes in light of recent events," said SPFK12 Schools Superintendent Dr. Margaret Hayes in a phone interview with TAPintoSPF. "Some students shared with teachers, counselors, and administrators that they have found recent reports about clown sightings disturbing."

"The Halloween celebrations at the elementary schools are different. The children have a parade outside and many parents attend," Dr. Hayes added. "We want it to be a fun event for everyone. The elementary school principals set the guidelines. Parents with concerns or questions should call the school."

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"Creepy clowns” have been in the news a great deal lately. Much of the panic has been driven by social media, according to CNN. In late September, East Hanover police were called with reports of a possible “creepy clown” near the grounds of Hanover Park high school.  Earlier this month, Roselle Park police caught a teenager who posted threats on social media. To date, there is no known record of a child actually being harmed or abducted by a clown. Experts say that the creepy clown trend happens more frequently in the months leading up to Halloween, and is fueled by schoolyard rumors, parental concern, and social media.

Masks are not permitted and students should not bring in anything that resembles a weapon. Costumes must not be offensive to any person or group of people.

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