People are clowning around and it needs to stop.
This week, social media was buzzing about potential evil clown sightings near Carriel Junior High and the Milburn freshman campus. Parents were concerned and began to talk about how schools went on lockdown while the O’Fallon police searched for the perpetrator. Sounds pretty exciting right?
None of it happened.
Unfortunately, rumors spread quickly in today’s day and age. Evidently it started with some kids talking and, as these things tend to go, one thing led to another. Even a District 90 administrator had to contact the police to see if it was true after their son sent them a text. Things happen and parents have every right to be concerned when they hear of an incident.
However, in this day and age of heightened security, dressing as a clown and skulking around goes beyond a harmless prank. Sure, it might seem funny, but its all fun and games until someone gets hurt.
Case in point, a man dressed as a clown was shot in Fort Wayne, Indiana, on Friday. A person that lives close to the shooting location said “I just think it’s crazy. People better take those clown mask off… before the coroner does.” He’s right.
The other side of this coin is that people need to stop starting rumors. Playing on the emotions of parents by telling stories of killer clowns outside of the school isn’t funny, its just mean. Pranks aren’t as harmless as they used to be and people really tend to take pranks involving potential harm to kids seriously.
After speaking to the O’Fallon Police Department, I can tell you this is the last thing they want to deal with. They’ve got a ton of more pressing matters on their plate without having to chase Pennywise through the streets. That’s not to say you shouldn’t report anything suspicious if you see anything. However, that doesn’t make it any less frustrating for our police officers when people decide it would be fun to start a rumor.
On a personal note, I don’t have an extreme, deep psychological dislike of clowns. My brother really doesn’t like them for whatever reason. I almost wonder if its become socially acceptable to hate on clowns. I wonder how bad this trend has hurt Barnum & Bailey…?
So I guess what I’m trying to get at is that clowns aren’t a laughing matter these days and that dressing as one, or telling people that you saw one when you didn’t, isn’t a good idea. So let’s just agree to cut out the funny business, ok?