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Northern Ireland school bans killer clowns from Halloween party

By Ann W Schmidt

Published 27/10/2016

Ballycastle Integrated Primary School
Ballycastle Integrated Primary School
The note sent to parents about clown costumes
Principal Diana Evans

A Northern Ireland primary school has asked parents to ensure their children leave their clown costumes at home in the wake of the 'killer clown craze'.

Ballycastle Integrated Primary School sent a letter to parents ahead of their Halloween party tomorrow.

It is their one non-uniform day of the term, where students can dress in costume. But this year they have been asked to avoid clown attire.

Principal Diana Evans said she sent the letter because some parents had come to her with concerns.

"The school acted as any reasonable parent would do in loco parentis, and in response to the concerns raised by parents directly with staff and the principal about the well-being of the pupils. We have a duty of care to these children," Mrs Evans said.

She added that she hasn't gotten any negative responses from parents, who are instead thankful because the 'clown craze' was scaring their children and some were even having trouble sleeping.

"Many parents have come forward to say thank you for looking after our children and thank you for preventing something that may be a stressful situation for them on Friday. So no parent has come to me with a complaint about this."

Ballycastle Integrated Primary School isn't the only school that has asked parents to have their children leave the clown costumes at home, she said.

"Because it was a matter affecting the whole community within Ballycastle and further afield, this letter was composed by Ballycastle Integrated Primary School and another school within the town," Mrs Evans added.

The 'killer clown craze' originated in the United States following reports of people dressed as clowns and carrying knives.

The note sent to parents about clown costumes
The note sent to parents about clown costumes

The craze came to the UK earlier this month and, in Northern Ireland, two schools were closed and two schools had a police presence on their grounds after reports that "killer clowns" would be on their premises.

The original letter to parents was sent on October 12 and on Monday a slip of paper was sent home with students to remind parents that their children should not wear clown attire.

The full letter expressed the concern that had been caused and reassured parents that safety, security and well-being of the students is a top priority for the school.

It urged parents not to dress their child in a clown costume or clown face, and clown wigs must not be worn.

"If a child does come to school wearing any of these items they will be required to remove them. Face painting is acceptable - Not a clown face please!" it added.

The clown craze has spread across Europe and the US
The clown craze has spread across Europe and the US

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