Connecticut parents and administrators are concerned about "creepy clown" posts on social media and now, schools throughout the state will have increase police presence on Wednesday.
Police in Naugatuck arrested two girls on Tuesday in connection with the “clown” social media postings.
The arrests come after disturbing reports of clown sightings in a number of communities across Connecticut and the nation.
Police said the unidentified girls posted threats on social media under the name Jackson The Clown. The post had a picture of a clown and read "Will be in Naugatuck. Be careful. Lock your doors, which school wanna go first?"
The threats caused police to step up patrols at all 11 schools in Naugatuck on Tuesday morning.
Naugatuck police believed the posts were not credible, but said they are extremely disturbing. That's why the department is taking every precaution to make sure students are safe.
Police said the girls are both under the age of 14 with one from Naugatuck and the other from Stratford. Their names were not released due to their ages. They were charged with disorderly conduct and conspiracy to commit disorderly conduct.
Police said they've been in communication with the superintendent's office and the Naugatuck Board of Education.
They also posted to their Facebook page on Tuesday morning that all was well. They said school was in session with much "clown-free" learning taking place.
The social media clown postings remain under investigation by the Naugtuck Police Department. Anyone with information about the posts is asked to give the Naugtuck Police Department a call at 203-729-5221 or on their confidential tip line at 203-720-1010.
School officials warned parents in Wallingford after a threatening message was posted on Instagram. The message stated "Lyman Hall better watch out." Due to the threat, there will be an extra police presence at Lyman Hall High School on Wednesday.
In New Haven, four menacing photos were posted on the school district's social media account telling Hill Regional Career High School to "watch out."
Police said they are interviewing students regarding the posts.
The district's director of security encouraged schools to ban clown costumes and any symbols of terror.
“We aint clowning around. Next school is CHS. You better not come to school tomorrow," this statement was posted anonymously on Instagram.
Cheshire Public Schools believed an anonymous Instagram post was directed at schools in Connecticut. However, police in Cheshire determined that the threat was directed Central High School" in another state.
Cheshire Public Schools Superintendent Jeff Solan said the post was "viewed and forwarded on through the Cheshire community absent the context and concerns were raised. "
"While this particular threat was not directed at Cheshire High School we will continue to take what we consider to be appropriate action any time we believe that a threat against our security has been made. This includes aggressively addressing those who make posts which threaten our students or disrupt our capacity to conduct school," Solan said in a statement on Tuesday.
In Newington, a post referenced killer clowns going to Martin Kellogg Middle School to kidnap students and kill teachers.
"You don't know what’s going on now a days," said Mayrita Trojanowski of Newington.
After school officials caught wind of it, superintendent Dr. William Collins informed parents through a voice mail that went out on Monday night.
On its website, it told parents "this is a hoax. There is no need to be alarmed."
Added security was visible at the school on Tuesday. Officials also urged students and parents to refrain from following or accepting social medial requests from anyone with the word "clown" in their name.
"I feel better that they're aware of it," said Veronica Blair of Newington.
Clown posts began surfaces in the late summer in other states. Since then, sightings have become frequent.
Police in Simsbury said they received threats to their schools. They added the threat was "not credible," but was "taken seriously."
Fairfield University's Department of Public Safety also said it received calls from students reporting the sightings of clowns on campus. It confirmed the incidents as a prank and the individuals involved were identified.
"Also as a level of comfort for the parents and of course the children going into the schools," said Naugatuck Police Lt. Bryan Cammarata.
North Haven school officials said they had increased security on Tuesday because of clown threats as well.
"It's pretty scary, I'd call campus security immediately," said graduate student Laura Bowles.
Several students did just that.
The university said it isn't laughing about this prank, and they are threatening disciplinary action and the case could be turned over to local police.
"Just wearing the mask in and of itself may not be of issue, but the actions that person takes in association with wearing the mask could cross the line and we're prepared to take action," said Fairfield Deputy Chief Chris Lyddy.
On Monday, at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, school officials said the public safety office reviewed a few calls from students who say they saw a clown on campus. Officers did not see anyone suspicious.
There have also been reports of sightings at the Meriden Green, but police did not find anything there either.
The national craze has prompted some celebrities to speak up about the otherwise good reputation of the profession.
Stephen King, author of the clown horror story It, told people that most clowns are good, cheer up kids and make people laugh.
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