Expert: Scary Clown ‘Prank’ Is Teachable Moment For Parents

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia Police say a 13-year-old girl was behind the “scary clown threats” on social media targeting Philadelphia schools.

Suspicious clown sightings and social media threats have caused widespread concern across the country, including Philadelphia over the weekend. Police Lieutenant John Stanford points the finger at a teenage girl.

“She along with a friend of hers decided that this was a prank, something fun to do. At some point in time, these two classmates, decided to take this, post this information on Instagram, threatening a couple of our local schools,” Stanford said. “She also indicated that she didn’t have any intent to harm anyone when doing this.”

Cybersecurity expert Dr. Rob D’Ovidio says this is a teachable moment for parents.

“Explain the gravity of ‘the prank’ here, explain what it really means, and explain what the ramifications are,” D’Ovidio said. “You can be arrested, you can be charged, and in some instances if the threat is taken serious and if school is cancelled you’ll be charged with a felony level offence, and that could very well stay with you, depending on your age, for the rest of your life.”

The teen was identified, in part, due to tips from the public.

The District Attorney’s Office is now reviewing the case.

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