Creepy clown hysteria: tips to keep calm

NORTH COLONIE, N.Y. (NEWS10) – First there were the weird sightings, but now school districts are getting caught up in the creepy clown craze.

At least two separate Capital Region School Districts were on heightened alert after threatening messages from so-called creepy clowns.

Classes went on as usual at Shaker High School, but not before a precautionary sweep of the school and grounds.

It’s a phenomenon spreading across the country.  So-called creepy clowns are making threats against schools via social media, namely Twitter. Here in the Capital Region, no one’s laughing.

“It’s very disruptive,” Superintendent Joe Corr, of the North Colonie School District, said.

Corr says he became aware of the Twitter threat Sunday night. While it wasn’t specific, the Tweets did include a message to any doubters about leaving something for them to see at school on Monday.

“If you think this is a joke, I left something for you all to see tomorrow at school.”


Corr says a police sweep of the High School, middle school, and neighboring Blue Ridge Elementary School and determined the threat was not credible.

“Even when things are considered not credible you still exercise an abundance of caution,” Corr said.

Precaution was also the lesson of the day at the Shenendehowa School District. There was also a police presence on the Clifton Park campus after that district also says it was the focus of a creepy clown threat regarding a bomb. District officials tell NEWS10 ABC that police searched all buildings and buses and like North Colonie, came up empty handed.

Last week, NEWS10 ABC reported creepy clown sightings in Clifton Park and other suspected sightings in Troy and Schenectady. But now come these threats and a question, who would do something like this?

“Someone who is juvenile and feeling a lack of power and lack of effectiveness. This is a way they can feel like they’re getting a reaction,” Phil Rainer, a licensed clinical social worker, said.

Rainer says the creepy clown phenomenon may actually turn into a good opportunity for parents to reiterate safety rules with our kids.

“With older kids, I would tell them to travel in groups with their friends. With little kids I would really make clear that this is a rare thing,” Rainer said.

Investigators specializing in internet crimes are now working on this case. Police say if caught the perpetrators could be charged with making a terroristic threat.

The creepy clown’s Twitter account that made the threats to North Colonie has been suspended.

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