MORRISTOWN, NJ - On Thursday morning, parents and guardians in the Morris School District received a letter concerning social media postings.
"As you may be aware, recently there have been many schools in Morris County and many more throughout New Jersey and the entire nation that have been dealing with threatening “clown” postings on the internet", wrote Mackey Pendergrast, Superintendent of Schools. "I have received information from our local police departments that some of our students have recently observed these type of postings, including one stating clowns were going to go to Morristown last night in order to commit kidnappings".
Pendergrast assured parents that the Morris Township Police have determined these posts are not credible and do not pose a threat to the students within the Morris School District.
"Many schools in Morris County have received a very similar post within the last ten days", continued Pendergrast. "The origin of these postings may be local, but of course, it may be coming from individuals in another state or nation as well. There will be an increased police presence at all of our schools the next few days'.
The purpose of the increased police is to provide students, staff and parents with a visible reminder that students are in a safe environment, said Pendergrast. He urged all parents to discuss cell phone and app usage as well as internet safety.
"Many of our students are inappropriately interacting with unknown people on social media who are reaching out to them through Instagram and other platforms, including this last incident, the letter read. "It is important to note that this exacerbates the problem significantly and is dangerous to your child and others, especially if your child is giving out personal or geographical information, which, in fact, occurred in this last incident and other incidents".
Students should not respond to any inappropriate posts and should report any inappropriate post to a parent, teacher or police department.