Officials from several different Central Texas schools are investigating after social media posts circulated in recent days about "clowns" making threats.
Manor ISD confirmed a student at Manor Tech High School had been threatened on social media by an alleged clown Monday morning. According to Superintendent Royce Avery, the student alerted school officials as soon as it happened and Manor police began an investigation as a precaution. Manor ISD said they didn't believe that there was a credible threat to students to staff and students despite the post.
Wednesday afternoon, Austin ISD Police Chief Eric Mendez confirmed to KVUE that Akins High student Noah Hollingsworth, 17, had been charged with misdemeanor terroristic threat in connection to the clown posts about Austin ISD schools.
Tuesday night, Texas State University police released a statement regarding a female student who was allegedly assaulted by a man dressed as a clown Monday night. The victim described the suspect to police as 6-feet 2-inches with an athletic build. The suspect was observed wearing a black and white striped jumpsuit clown costume, a green wig, and his face was painted with black and white eyes.
By Tuesday morning, "clown" threats had been reported at schools in Austin Independent School District, Bastrop, Round Rock, Manor, Del Valle and Hays Consolidated Independent School District.
KVUE was made aware Tuesday morning of an update from Bastrop Independent School District regarding social media threats toward particular campuses there. In a note posted on BISD's website, officials said they are "aware and taking proactive measures to address the recent clown threat posts. We continue to work closely with area law enforcement officials to monitor this activity and have not deemed anything credible related to the posts at this time."
Anyone with information regarding threats toward BISD should contact 512-772-7100.
Round Rock Independent School District also released a statement about threats toward schools.
"At this time, no validity to the threats have been found," according to RRISD.
AISD police said Monday morning they were investigating threats made toward the following schools:
- Austin, Bowie, Eastside Memorial, LASA and McCallum high schools
- LBJ and Reagan early college high schools
- Kealing, Martin and O. Henry middle schools
AISD has added extra patrols for the next couple of weeks.
Friday morning, a student at Manor High School contacted KVUE with a screenshot of a Facebook thread that contained an alleged threat against the school. "Klown Joey," one of the users in the thread, wrote Thursday, "Where gonna get yall manor high kids in all the bathrooms we got cameras set up we are out to kill and attack ... see y'all tomorrow."
Kristen Dark with the Travis County Sheriff's Office said they were made aware of the post Thursday afternoon when an investigation was initiated. She said "at this point, there's no credibility to the post." She also said campus police at Manor High School "are aware and will be diligent in their duties today as always."
In a letter sent to Del Valle High School parents Friday morning, the principal said they "have been made aware of a rumor about clowns threatening the security" of the school. He said "we are cooperating with law enforcement and diligently investigating this rumor. School is continuing as usual today."
Read the full letter:
Friday afternoon, parents lined up outside Dell Valle HS to pick their children up early. Sisters Madeline and Amanda Johnson were among the students leaving early.
Madeline received direct threats on Facebook from one of the clown accounts.
"Saying that he was going to kill me and saying that like he knows where I live," she described.
"It's not cool to be scared to come to school because you're scared that a clown is going to come to your school and shoot you while you're there," said Madeline's older sister Amanda.
"Threats of any kind against our school, students and staff will be investigated immediately and are not tolerated," AISD police said in a statement. "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."
In a letter sent to parents at Hays Consolidated Independent School District Friday, officials said "there is a rumor that there may have been a post about Lehman High School from a clown, but that it was taken down." Officials said after deputies and school administrators investigated, they do not believe there is any credible threat to the safety of the school.
AISD asks anyone with information about the incidents to call AISD police at 512-414-1703. AISD also noted that schools across the state and country have received similar threats.
The Spring Independent School District issued a security statement overnight Monday due to new clown threat hoaxes made online.
According to KVUE's sister station in Corpus Christi, school district police there are also on alert Friday after "clowns" posted on social media claiming they were planning on "visiting" 10 different schools. There was no outright threat made, but police are monitoring the schools.