Clifton Park school bans clown makeup for Halloween

October 20, 2017 07:05 PM

CLIFTON PARK - As Halloween nears, one school in the Shenendehowa Central School District is making sure parents know the costume dress code.

A reminder sent to parents and guardians of students at Gowana Middle School says no weapons allowed, real or fake. It also says no undergarments showing, no aerosol sprays like hair color or silly string, no applying makeup, face paint or hair color during the school day and no one is allowed to dress as a clown.

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It's unclear why clown costumes are banned at Gowana. NewsChannel 13 reached out to the school district to ask, but many people are just creeped out by clowns. If you are one of them, you are not alone. In fact, there is a name for it -- coulorphobia.

"I think what it is about clowns is you can't really identify what their intentions are, or what they might do. They have this capacity to startle you and so there's an uncertainty and particularly uncertainty about threat," explained Dr. Scott Bea, PsyD with Cleveland Clinic.

Dr. Bea says that's because clowns wear makeup and conceal their identity.

He says it's similar to when children are afraid of mascots or characters with masks and that fears that start in childhood often stay with us into adulthood.


WNYT Staff

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