(UPDATED WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON with message to Denny/Sealth families)
ORIGINAL TUESDAY NIGHT REPORT: Seattle Public Schools says it’s working with police to investigate social-media posts related to a nationwide wave of school threats that accompany photos of clowns. The district sent this message late today (thanks to the parents who forwarded it to us):
The Seattle School District has been contacted by a number of individuals concerned about an ongoing national social media trend related to “Scary Clowns.” There have been a few local news stories related to this and some of our students have received pictures of clowns. We are communicating to families to remind you and your student that if they see suspicious individuals while at school, please have them inform their teacher or principal immediately. We also ask you to report any threatening social media activity that involves Seattle Public Schools or our students to your school or the district’s Safety and Security Office at (206) 252-0707. This office is open 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.
We take safety seriously, and the security of our students is a top priority. We are working closely with Seattle Police Department to investigate all concerns related to this social media trend.
West Seattle High School is among the schools dealing with this – its families got this message from principal Ruth Medsker:
You may be hearing from your students and or the media about threats to West Seattle High School involving “creepy clowns.” This is part of a national social media trend that has impacted schools and districts nationwide. Within the last 48 hours it has come to the Pacific Northwest. Many schools, including West Seattle, are named in various Instagram and Facebook posts. It was brought to our attention this morning by district security and our students.
West Seattle High School administration notified police and currently there is an open investigation. Police have increased patrols in the community.
Please talk with your student about media safety and encourage them to report anything that makes them feel unsafe.
On the national level, this all goes back at least a month, according to one East Coast news publication.
ADDED 2:34 PM WEDNESDAY: The district message above has been sent today to Denny International Middle School and Chief Sealth International High School families, according to Denny principal Jeff Clark, and prefaced with this:
Good Afternoon Denny and Sealth Scholars and Families,
Below is a message that was sent out to all families in Seattle Public Schools last night to address the concern of “Scary Clowns” that is happening across the country through social media. Here at Denny and Sealth, we have also been checking into these social media rumors about clowns. To ease any anxiety, we wanted to let you know that we are not aware of any threatening posts related to either of our schools at this time.
Jeff Clark, Principal
Denny International Middle School
Aida Fraser-Hammer, Principal
Chief Sealth International High School