Social Media Threat
As you know, national and
local media outlets have reported on individuals wearing "creepy clown"
costumes lurking in areas where children play, around schools or bus
stops. These incidents have been very unsettling for communities,
especially when some of these people have been in possession of weapons.
We became very concerned last
week when a social media "creepy clown" posted a threat against our
schools which would take place on Halloween. The post stated that our
schools were targets and would be "going on lockdown". Reed Union School
District takes all threats very seriously. An internal investigation
was conducted at Del Mar, while law enforcement officials pursued legal
means to identify the source of the threat. The juvenile who created the
account and posted the message was identified and appropriate
consequences have been administered for this action with cooperation
from law enforcement.
We became aware of the post
when a concerned student reported it to a parent, who then contacted law
enforcement. This is EXACTLY what should happen every time a student
hears a threat or sees one posted on social media. Students may often
think that the person making a threat is joking; however all threats
against individuals or schools are taken very seriously and must be
As a result of this post and
the rash of "creepy" clown incidents throughout the country, we will not
allow any clown costumes to be worn on our school campuses on
Halloween, Monday, October 31st.
Additionally, no masks, nor costumes that depict violence will be
permitted. Our utmost priority is the safety of students and preventing
disruption during the instructional day. Schools must always be places
where students feel safe, welcomed, and can learn without distraction.
We are planning a school
assembly for Del Mar students in January where law enforcement
representatives will share the facts pertaining to the responsibility
associated with social media; the digital footprint students leave in
perpetuity on the internet; students should only communicate with people
they personally know; and other related topics to promote online
safety. In cooperation with the PTA, a parent presentation will be
provided the evening prior to the student assembly. The date of this
event will be determined soon.
It is important for students
to understand that a post, which may be intended to be funny and
harmless, is often taken seriously by others, and there is a
responsibility to only post information and opinions that do not harm
others in any way.
Thank you for your partnership
in ensuring the safety of our children and teaching them about
responsibility and the power of their words.
Nancy Lynch, Ed.D.