There won't be any costumed characters roaming the halls in Union County New Jersey school district come Halloween.

Citing concerns that dressing up for the day detracts from the learning process, Springfield Superintendent Michael Davino has barred students at the district's two elementary schools from wearing their costumes to school on Oct. 31.

Parents were notified of the decision in a letter sent out this week by the schools' principals.

Critics unhappy with the decision had called on the Union County district's Board of Education to reconsider the policy, saying it prevents "kids from being kids."

But the board declined, saying Halloween has become a "social holiday," not an educational one. They also note that students have ample time after school to celebrate the day in costume