Claiborne, Anderson county students charged with making clown threats

CLINTON (WATE) – Two Anderson County High School students were charged in Anderson County Juvenile Court with making threats on social media.

The Anderson County Sheriff’s Department said the girls, ages 14 and 15, were both expelled from school pending a hearing by school administrators. Anderson County Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy Mark Lucassaid the threats were similar to those made across the country, including Wednesday in Claiborne County concerning “clowns” coming to do harm in the schools.Lucas said school resources will continue to have an enhanced presence at schools to ensure the safety of students, staff and parents.

Wednesday, Claiborne County Sheriff David Ray said a high school student was arrested for social media threats involving clowns. Sheriff Ray said the threats on Facebook and in messages between various students on Tuesday said, “not to come to school tomorrow, clowns are coming to your school just giving you a heads up we are shooting it up”.

Investigators secured both Cumberland Gap High School and H. Y. Livesay Middle School on Wednesday morning and carefully search the schools. Officers were also present when students arrived for school. H. Y. Livesay attendance was not affected by the threats, but attendance at Cumberland Gap High was poor Wednesday.

Early Wednesday morning, investigators found through social media the threats came from a Claiborne County student who created a fictitious Facebook account in an attempt to create a lockdown at Cumberland Gap High. Investigators seized electronic devices that led to the arrest and charges placed against a female student. She is charged with disruption of a meeting or procession and is scheduled to appear in juvenile court on September 28. She is also prohibited from returning to school property, had her internet access limited and cannot attend any school social events.

Knoxville police address social media clown hype

The Knoxville Police Department issued a statement Wednesday addressing the rumors and hype on social media regarding alleged sightings of clowns.

Police say the posts are similar to ones in other parts of the country and some people have even gone as far as staging pictures in clown suits to add credibility to their claims. KPD says it takes all threats seriously and will investigate any reported sightings, but say at this point it is all rumor and there are no clowns.

They also say they will take appropriate action on anyone caught reporting false incidents, is caught acting in a dangerous or threatening manner to the public, or is trying to disrupt the daily activities of businesses, schools or public places.

Posts about supposed clown sightings have been trending this week all across Tennessee.

WATE 6 On Your Side received several notes from parents Monday about a social media threat from clowns causing a soft lockdown at Austin-East High School. Knox County Schools says the school was on temporary soft lockdown due to social media threats, but police said there was no truth to the clown rumors.

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