Fear hits middle school in Antioch after clown threat on Instagram

Amy Hollyfield Image
ByAmy Hollyfield KGO logo
Wednesday, October 5, 2016
Fear hits Antioch school after clown threat on Instagram
There's some fear among students at a middle school in Antioch after a clown threat was posted to social media, though most seem convinced it's a hoax.

ANTIOCH, Calif. (KGO) -- An Antioch school is the latest to be hit by the "scary clown" threat that's sweeping the nation. Oakland and Fairfield are dealing with threats of clowns coming to campus and attacking kids.

RELATED: Concord mom fights off clown accused of attempting to kidnap girl

It's like screaming fire in a crowded theater. Except in this case, people are screaming "creepy clown" on social media and it created a lot of hysteria at an Antioch campus.

Most kids at Dallas Ranch Middle School in Antioch are convinced the clown threats are a hoax, but there is still some fear there.

"I am very frightened by this, but my mom always says that there's nothing to worry about and a lot of students have been saying it's just a cruel prank," said student Nyah White. "I believe them, but I am also scared at the same time."

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One student who saw it online says the Instagram account had a clown face on it, and shared pictures of the school, "It was a video of our bathroom and they were like, 'I'm here', and I actually got tagged in it with a couple of other friends."

Principal Ed Dacus sprang into action Tuesday when he heard the school was mentioned on social media.

"When we kind of saw saw the rapidness and it was reaching critical mass, I notified our district office and I also notified the Antioch police department," he said.

The police came, but word and hysteria was already spreading. It reached a fever pitch when someone claimed to have seen a clown on campus.

RELATED: Police investigate clown threats made to Bay Area schools

"Some of our silly kids, you know, they were saying, 'Hey there's a clown'," Dacus said. "You know, they would all run to the fence and so it was one of those things you just really interrupted the environment."

White added, "I've just been terrified ever since and I actually got trampled by a crowd yesterday because they were all just running away in terror."

Parents even came to campus when they heard about the threats.

One parent said, "I came up here yesterday about 12, just to make sure that they were okay and they were fine."

RELATED: Clown reportedly trying to lure kids into woods

Administrators and police think this is a hoax, a very disruptive one.

"That's the thing about social media, the Instagrams and the Snapchats," Dacus said. "There's no, there's really no filter on it, and that stuff can get out and it spreads like wildfire."

The principal tells us that they are taking things seriously. There has been no clown, or violence. But if a kid is behind the hoax that child could possibly be suspended or expelled.