“What’s the deal with all the clowns?” has been a popular line of questioning on social media sites lately.
After a “threat” on social media went viral Tuesday night into Wednesday morning, multiple Twin Cities school districts had to answer to concerned parents. Are clowns really a threat? They asked.
In short, no. Not here. Though there has been at least one clown attack (possibly) on the East Coast, no confirmed crimes or even appearances of clowns have happened in Wright County area schools.
“Most times, criminal are trying to commit their crime inconspicuously,” one police official stated Wednesday. “By wearing a clown outfit, or mask, or makeup, you’re probably going to draw attention to yourself.”
Though police aren’t concerned, multiple school districts communicated with families, students and staff Wednesday, stating resource officers and building administrators are aware of the clown concerns.
In Elk River, where one clown report was filed with police (a sighting, not confirmed by officers), ISD 728 put out this release:
We know this isn’t a joking matter, and we do want to share what can be confirmed at this time. While it’s been happening in other places in the U.S. in recent weeks, this latest cultural trend has come closer to home over the past couple of days. Messages and rumors of messages have popped up in multiple places in the Twin Cities area. The clown topic is not unique to our district or our part of the metro area.
ISD 728 is working closely with the Wright County Sheriff’s Office, the Sherburne County Sheriff’s Office, Rogers Police, Elk River Police and our student resource officers on trending issues such as this one. Law enforcement officials are well aware of this issue and have been in good communication with us. We are sensing no cause for concern, even though some social media messages have mentioned particular metro area cities, some close to us. None of these reports have been verified, and the individual responsible for some of the social media warnings has been arrested and charged with making terroristic threats.
Safety is of the utmost importance, and our officers and school staff work each day to keep our kids in a safe learning environment. We strive to keep the kids comfortable and “worry free” in our classrooms, on our playgrounds and on school grounds. As always, staff members are available to assist your student if the need arises.
Monticello and STMA Schools also sent out notes to parents via district communications sources.
One hoax that impacted some south metro schools did lead to an arrest. A teen from Bloomington was apprehended on charges of making terroristic threats. The teen girl created a Twitter account and used her sister’s phone to threaten several schools. It was all in an attempt, officers said, to scare the sister’s boyfriend.