Are the Clowns Just Clowning Around?

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A clown phenomena started in South Carolina this August and has spread and escalated throughout the United States. It has, in recent weeks, become more relevant to the Maryland, Harford County and even the Patterson Mill community. The craze started on social media and has been lived out mostly with empty online threats. Still, many students fear the clowns, and school officials are taking the threats seriously to ensure the safety of all students.

NBC News reported on the origin of the clown epidemic, explaining that in late August, Greenville SC, many children saw clowns in the woods and were bribed with, “large amounts of money”.

Deputy Commissioner John Miller of the New York Police noted, “Our main message is don’t believe the hype and don’t be afraid of the clowns.”

Similarly, Sophomore Tessia Patterson said, “From what I’ve heard everyone is taking [the threat] pretty seriously but some of it is getting blown out of proportion.”

Although most threats have been empty there have still been arrests made concerning clown incidents. Two arrests were made in Henrico Virginia regarding clowns chasing children. Twelve arrests have also been made across Georgia, Alabama and Virginia, with at least nine occurring in Alabama alone. Arrests have been due to making false clown threat accusations. Another possible threat indicated by sophomore Lydia Elchik is that the clowns could be concealing weapons which could lead to a much worse than a good scare.

Many clown incidents have not been serious, yet there have been a few. Pottsville Police Chief Richard Wojciechowsky was quoted by CNN as saying, “’Two knuckleheads with clown-like clothes on hopped out of a pickup truck and yelled at a group of young children and teenagers.”

On October 5th, a teenager was allegedly chased out of the New York subway station by a clown possessing a knife. The following day in Tulsa Oklahoma a man was assaulted while walking his dog, causing mild injuries such as bruises. During the same week, there was yet another assault scare outside of a Texas State University housing complex.

Precautions against such threats are being taken across a large span of communities as well as school districts. Middle and high schools have been shut down in Ohio and the town of, Lindenhurst Long Island kept young students inside for recess following twitter threats. New Haven Connecticut went even further, banning all clown costumes on their schools property. Tessia agrees that schools should have been shut down because, “Its better safe than sorry.” Yet, Tessia still feels safe because every threat concerning Patterson Mill has been fake thus far.

The WHNS new station of South Carolina reported that the manager of the Fleetwood Manor apartment sent out a letter entailing the warning that, “at no time should a child be alone at night, or walking in the roads or wooded areas at night.”

Teenagers are being warned not to participate in the epidemic, “because eventually someone is going to perceive their actions as a threat and take justice in their own hand” explained the sheriff of Pasco County Florida, Christopher Nacco.

Teacher, Mrs. Sunderland thinks that the entire clown craze, “May have been an isolated event to begin with and grew into this huge thing everyone is fearful of.”

Mrs. Sunderland explained that there have been rumors amongst students that people dressed as clowns had made threats to Patterson Mill online.

Vice Principal, Mrs. Zengel stated, “I don’t think we did anything different in regards to the clowns. We already have a lot of safety precautions for intruders.” She went on to explain, there are cameras at every entrance and all exterior doors are locked. Furthermore, everyone entering the school must show id first.

She confidently stated, “If anyone tried to approach the school to get in, we would have that covered.”

Mrs. Sunderland claimed that most students were not truly fearful, pointing out that their conversation about the clowns was conducted in a joking manner. Mrs. Zengel added by stating the threat they may feel when walking home would be the same with any stranger; “whether they are wearing a clown costume or not.”

 

Many clown threats have reassuringly been empty, yet law enforcement and school officials have done their best to take all necessary precautions. A CNN reporter wrote, “Police departments in clown-affected areas have made two things clear: They’re vigilant, but not worried, and they really want people to stop pulling stupid clown stunts.”

 

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Are the Clowns Just Clowning Around?