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‘Romeo and Juliet’ costume sparks offense in Pennsylvania high school — and now its use has been banned

Good grief to the nth degree

Larry Ellis/Express/Getty Images

A "Romeo and Juliet" costume worn by a ninth-grader at a Pennsylvania school was so frightening and upsetting that the school has banned its use forever.

Wow. Well, this must have been an especially terrifying costume.

If by "terrifying," you mean "monk costume," then yes — super terrifying.

The Lower Merion School District in in Ardmore, Pennsylvania, in fact, was so proactive about not offending its students or parents that it banished the costume's use for the remainder of all time.

The monk costume, which consisted of a white hooded robe — as monks do wear — sparked fear after a photograph of a student wearing the costume made its way onto social media.

The unnamed student was reportedly in a hallway of Lower Merion High School when the photo was snapped. The student, who was participating in a recreation of William Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet," had reportedly left the room where the production was being held while wearing the robe, but did return to the room.

An email sent to district families by the district's community relations and school director apologized for the offensive costume.

“Late this afternoon, it came to the attention of the Lower Merion School District Administration that a disturbing photograph was circulating on social media. The photograph shows a person in a white hooded robe in a hallway at Lower Merion High School," the school's director of school and community relations, Amy Buckman, said in an email obtained by The American Conservative.

“The robe is part of a monk costume from 'Romeo and Juliet.' The monk's costume — along with many other costumes — were to be used by 9th grade English students to act out the Shakespeare play," Buckman's email continued. "The photo appears to have been taken as a student was returning to class for a performance."

Buckman's email added that a teacher saw the photo and a decision to not use the costume was made.

"As soon as the teacher saw that particular costume, she realized it could be misinterpreted and that its imagery was disturbing," Buckman's email added. “The costume will not be used in future enactments of 'Romeo and Juliet.'"

The message concluded, "We wanted to explain the circumstances behind the photo, should your students see it. Any student or family member who wishes to discuss this incident further should contact their high school principal's office."

(H/T: The College Fix)

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