GRANITE BAY (CBS13) – Several local school districts are on high alert following a series of social media threats regarding creepy clowns.
Some schools have sent out letters to parents explaining that they are working with police and school resource officers to ensure the safety of students.
According to the Roseville Joint Union High School District, on Tuesday night, two students and a school employee from Granite Bay High School played a hoax on a student by dressing up as clowns to scare him. This “sighting” was subsequently posted on Instagram and caused alarm on campus.
The district has since interviewed all participants, and determined the clown sighting at Feist Park was a hoax and these individuals do not pose any threat to the campus.
A spokesperson for the district says, “We are very surprised and disappointed that an adult staff member participated in these events. We are conducting an investigation into the behavior of the employee and appropriate action will be taken.”
As for the students involved, site administration will continue their investigation Thursday. No decision has been made regarding disciplinary consequences.
Meanwhile, the online threats are also impacting professional clowns.
“I don’t want to be scared. I want to go out my door and I want to make children smile, without being scared,” says Kelly Martinez.
Martinez has been a professional clown for 30 years and is well known to her Vacaville community. She says since the creepy clown stories have made national news, she and other professional clowns are feeling the backlash.
“I have friends who have absolutely left the business because they fear for their safety and people’s businesses are shutting down,” said Martinez.
Parents are cancelling her bookings out of fear.
“We are taking steps to ensure these threats are not credible and that there isn’t a risk to the public,” said Officer Matthew McPhail of the Sacramento Police Department.
Police say while there haven’t been any credible threats, they don’t want anyone to get hurt.
“It’s difficult to speculate about what kind of criminal charges somebody could incur. But moreover, if a member of the public was concerned about their own safety because of your behavior, they would be within their rights to defend themselves,” says McPhail.
As for Martinez and her fellow professional clowns who entertain and bring smiles for a living, they want the threats to stop.