School addresses clown craze, social media use

Community voices concern for safety

Mimi Fhima

Freshman Anna Wert said she felt anxious before attending the Homecoming game last Friday after hearing about recent clown incidents from her peers.

“The only initial thought I had was ‘oh, what’s going to happen at the Homecoming game?’ I didn’t really think anything was going to happen, but I was more aware of my surroundings,” Wert said.

Principal Scott Meyers said the additional security at the Homecoming football game was not a result of clown rumors, but rather security is increased at the football game each year.

“There’s always extra security at Homecoming,” Meyers said. “It’s always the biggest game that we have. Have we dialed up security a lot, not necessarily. Have we shared some of the information with our police department, yes.”

Police liaison Max Peltola said he has seen incidents on the news, but has not heard of any factual reports or sightings in the St. Louis Park community.screen-shot-2016-10-11-at-12-34-59-pm

“I’ve seen stuff on the news and had kids approach me about it, but I haven’t seen anything directly correlated to our location,” Peltola said.

According to Principal Scott Meyers, students and parents have voiced their concern.

“We’ve had reports of concern,” Meyers said. “Most of the conversation about it is happening outside of our school.”

Sophomore Leo Finley said he feels the fears many have expressed are exaggerated.

“I think it’s stupid. I don’t think it’s a threat, the clowns aren’t going to do anything,” Finley said.

Meyers said he feels confident the new visitor entrance will help protect students if need be.

According to Meyers, administration collaborates with the police department to ensure the protection of students.

“We are working with the police department and closely with parent concerns,” Meyers said. “We share information with our police department in this case to make sure that they’re up to speed and understand.”

Peltola said it is important for students to remember not all clowns are harmful.

“If you feel like your safety is in jeopardy with a clown, call 911 or get someone to help you, but realize that just because there is a clown it doesn’t mean you’re in jeopardy,” Peltola said.