AUSTIN (KXAN) — The creepy clown phenomenon sweeping the nation seems to have made its way to the Austin area.
In the past week, several local schools have investigated social media threats made by people dressed as clowns against the schools or claims of clown sightings on campus.
Friday, Austin Independent School District Police said clown threats were made against Reagan and Travis Early College High Schools and Martin Middle School.
“Threats of any kind against our school, students and staff will be investigated immediately and are not tolerated,” the schools’ three principals wrote in a letter to parents. “We encourage our community to report threatening behavior of any kind so police may investigate and we can work together to keep our campus safe.”
Hays CISD sent a similar letter to parents saying they were investigating a clown threat made against Lehman High School, finding it to be a hoax. The district doesn’t believe there is any credible threat to the school, even if a threatening message was posted. Hays Public Information Officer Tim Savoy says the district is always on guard to protect their students and staff, but no operational changes have been made at this time.
On Thursday, Manor ISD, after receiving student reports of a clown walking around Manor High School, investigated the claims. The district tweeted they found no evidence of a clown on campus, but their school resource officers would continue to monitor the school.
Del Valle High School also sent a letter home to parents indicating they were aware of a rumor about clowns threatening the school’s security. The school says it’s cooperating with law enforcement but school is continuing as usual.
The New York Times has reported 12 people are facing charges nationwide for making false reports or threats regarding “creepy clowns.” On Sunday, Sept. 25 in Reading, Pennsylvania, police say a teenager was stabbed to death after someone wearing a clown mask may have provoked a confrontation, according to the local NBC affiliate.