You may have seen the news recently regarding schools receiving threats from anonymous social media accounts associated with clowns. This has been happening in other states for some time and has just recently been happening in Utah as well. Thus far, this issue has consisted of hoaxes and reported but often unconfirmed sightings, with a few arrests here and there. It is not our intent to stir up people’s fears regarding these incidents. We simply want to remind you of some simple ways we can all help keep your children safe.
Hoaxes or not, we want you to know we are tracking this issue and are taking it very seriously. When students feel unsafe, it can disrupt our efforts to provide a quality education. We believe that most of these accounts are hoaxes and are intended to be humorous. Regardless, principals have been made aware of this issue. If your child has been threatened in any way, please contact law enforcement. We will aggressively investigate any person who is threatening or potentially harming our students and schools.
We are asking for your help to monitor your child’s social media accounts. We also recognize that many students may be tempted to dress like clowns and go “scare,” people either out in the general public or on school property. In light of the current environment created by these hoaxes, such actions would not be seen as humorous in any way. Please talk with your children and help them understand this.
Additionally, we encourage you to take the following measures to keep your child safe:
- Students should not accept friend requests or allow people to follow their social media accounts who they do not know. Many of the messages surrounding this use come from anonymous accounts, yet the students accept the request allowing the perpetrator to harass them. Additionally, please block offending accounts. Take screenshots if necessary to preserve inappropriate messages for potential investigation.
- If your child sees threatening messages against other students or against schools in general, those messages should be forwarded to administrators or law enforcement.
When walking to and from school:
- Never approach strangers, even if they pretend to know you or know your child’s name.
- Students should walk in groups.
- Students should be familiar with friends, families, and neighbors along their walking route to be able to find a safe place to request assistance if necessary.
- Parents should provide supervision for younger students as appropriate.
There are many other common sense tips to help keep kids safe as they walk back and forth to school. We encourage you to have age appropriate discussions with your child regarding any of these items or any others that would help keep them safe.