Clowns Cause Chaos

With clown sightings on the rise and Halloween near, students worry about their safety.

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Clowns Cause Chaos

A clown was spotted at Athens High School.

A clown was spotted at Athens High School.

Maddie Purvis

A clown was spotted at Athens High School.

Maddie Purvis

Maddie Purvis

A clown was spotted at Athens High School.

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Most people have seen clown Vines that have been trending on social media for more than two weeks, and as Halloween approaches, student’s safety is starting to become a concern. People have been terrorized, chased, harassed and even killed by “killer clowns” and it is hard to separate students that are trying to be funny from criminals.

On Oct. 4, there was a clown sighting in the parking lot of Athens High School.

“I saw the clown while walking home from school,” Maddie Purvis, a sophomore at Athens High School, said. “It was trying to scare some freshman in front of me. He had a bat in his hand and was playing creepy circus music on his phone.”

The clown was later identified as a local 19-year old man.

The Troy Police Department investigated and addressed the situation. They have been communicating and trying to educate the public about clowns. The event at Athens was followed by other incidents around Troy.

Along with Athens, Troy High students also experienced a clown scare in the parking lot. Someone with a mask on and orange hair was driving a blue Ford Sedan around school property on Oct. 8.

“I think I’d have to fight the clowns because I hate the feeling of being chased,” sophomore Jessica Robinson said. “I hate feeling like there’s someone behind me,”

At Smith Middle School, students were told not to wear clown costumes for Halloween.

“Honestly I agree with that because it can be very dangerous for people walking around in clown costumes. It could mislead people,” sophomore Yousif Ali, who has previously dressed up as a clown, said.

But not all people agree with this.

“I’m OK with kids dressing up as clowns for Halloween, but I’m against people doing it just to scare people for fun,” sophomore Madison Zagacki said.

A few weeks ago, multiple Twitter accounts were made by people in Troy claiming to be clowns. These accounts got a lot of attention on social media. Tweets were sent out saying that clowns were coming to Troy High, Athens and residents’ neighborhoods. The owners of these accounts have since told administration that they did not mean any harm.

Troy PD didn’t think of these accounts as a joke. After tweets were sent out by clown accounts, @TroyMI_Police tweeted, “Hi Troy Clown. We are coming to your neighborhood as well. Trespassing and harassing clowns can be arrested.”

The Troy PD has taken precautionary measures to make sure these clowns don’t get out of hand. The day after the clown was in the Athens parking lot, Troy PD was stationed in the school parking lot and tweeted a photo to show students they were safe.

“One of our main concerns is that school needs to be carried on without interruption,” Sergeant Meghan Lehman, Troy Police Public Information Officer, said. “There’s no reason to get hysterical about this kind of thing. Most people are out here trying to have a good time, so we don’t think there are any serious threats in Troy. But, at the same time, if somebody knows about something, we’ll be happy to look into it.”

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