MAPLEWOOD, NJ - The Maplewood police Department released the following statement on Oct. 6 about reported clown activity:
There have been many clown sighting and pranks throughout the country. The Maplewood Police Department has received two reported clown sightings in town. After investigation it was determined that one did not occur and the second one was unable to be substantiated.
There has been no threat to any of our schools, however the police department and school officials are remaining vigilant and are working together to ensure a safe school environment. Maplewood Police are conducting extra periodic patrols at all of our schools.
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Parents are urged to speak to their children about the seriousness of reporting false information to school officials and/or the police. They should also be discouraged from and made aware of the seriousness of posting any type of internet post that could be construed as a threat. Obviously, if a clown is observed in an area where one would not normally see one, it should be reported and will be investigated by the police department. In the event that there is an incident that involves any threatening or possible criminal activity, such incidents should also be reported to the police immediately so that they may be properly investigated.
The South Orange - Maplewood School District also released a statement yesterday, "Update on National Clown Threats," which can be read here.
“Creepy clowns” have been in the national news a lot lately, with reports from towns throughout the country. In Greenville, South Carolina, residents of an apartment complex claim a clown was luring children into the woods, but investigators have not confirmed this, and to date there is no known record of a child actually being harmed or abducted by a clown.
Experts say that the trend of “creepy clowns” comes back every decade or so, becomes more frequent in the months leading up to Halloween, and is often fueled by children sightings, schoolyard rumors, and parental concern. The prevalence of social media has caused these stories to spread more quickly than in the past.