Gallatin County Schools in Kentucky announced plans to step up security Tuesday, Sept. 27, after receiving a “vague threat of violence” on Facebook.
“The threat does not seem creditable (sic), but in order to ensure the safety of students and staff we take all threats seriously,” a district representative wrote on Facebook.
Michelle Murphy, whose children attend Gallatin County Schools, said the source of the threat was a pair of Facebook accounts with clowns in their profile pictures.
In screenshots Murphy sent to WCPO television station in Cincinnati, “Bobby Daklown” and “Michael Daklown” threatened to shoot students at area high schools.
So #CreepyClowns are keeping parents from sending their kids to school in Gallatin County: https://t.co/HhW3b1RWE3 @WCPO pic.twitter.com/KpOBNLsKMY
— Meghan Wesley (@MeghanWesley) September 27, 2016
Gallatin County Schools will not cancel classes but will increase law enforcement presence and take extra security measures to protect students, according to the district’s Facebook.
Although this threat is not considered credible, creepy clowns have made a splash across the country recently, with reported sightings of sinister individuals in clown costumes in Alabama, Georgia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Ohio, Florida and Kentucky.
According to the Associated Press, authorities in Greenville, South Carolina, were among the first to report a clown-related incident in recent weeks. Children reported clowns trying to lure them with money to go into woods.
Middlesboro police catch man in scary clown costume. More on @WKYT @WYMT pic.twitter.com/cVvTQNqikx
— Phil Pendleton (@philtvnews) September 23, 2016
AP also reported that the sheriff in Escambia County, Alabama, arrested a 22-year-old woman and two juveniles after high school students were threatened on "Flomo Klown" and "Shoota Cllown" social media accounts.
There have been multiple clown arrests in Alabama.
"In Athens, Georgia, an 11-year-old girl was arrested for taking a knife to school" because she was frightened by social media reports and other rumors that "clowns were preparing to attack children," the AP reported.
Greeley, Colorado is also dealing with threats related to clowns, according to TheDenverChannel.com.
CREEPY CLOWN INCIDENTS
• Saturday, Aug. 20, 2016: People dressed as creepy clowns reportedly tried to lure Greenville, South Carolina children into the woods using money.
• Thursday, Sept. 15, 2016: Multiple children in Maryland reported creepy clown sightings, the first being reported in Annapolis on Sept. 15, 2016 and more through Sept. 19. In those five days, five sightings were reported.
• Monday, Sept. 19, 2016: A person told police a creepy clown peered into their Cambria County, Pennsylvania home through the window and then fled.
• Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016: Hundreds of students in Lee County, Georgia did not go to school after a creepy clown threat was made toward two high schools and one elementary school in that area. The clown threatened to bring a firearm to the schools and blow them up.
• Friday, Sept. 23, 2016: A clown holding an ax was reportedly staring at bystanders and knocking on doors in Portsmouth, Ohio. Also on this date, a person was arrested in Middlesboro, Kentucky after he was found dressed as a sinister clown hiding in trees near an apartment complex.
• Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016: A woman in Palm Bay, Fla. reported to police she was walking her dog when two people dressed as creepy clowns were sitting and staring at her as she turned toward a wooded area. Police issued an alert.
• Monday, Sept. 26, 2016: The Sheriff's Office in Gallatin County, Kentucky consulted the FBI and Homeland Security due to a "vague threat" on Facebook made by someone who is using a creepy clown photo as his main image. The name used in the threat has been used in other threats across the U.S., according to WCPO.com.