WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP, N.J. (CBS) — Authorities in Washington Township say that a 13-year-old girl and a 14-year-old boy have been charged in connection to clown related threats.
Officials say the Washington Township Police Department received several complaints throughout the past weekend regarding online threats. Authorities say victims were mentioned by name and that the threats were very specific, using addressed and other personal information.
Police say the girl is a student at Bunker Hill Middle School and the boy is a student from Orchard Valley Middle School.
Authorities say they interviewed the girl and that she confessed to making the online threats targeting other Washington Township students. Police charged both students with cyber harassment.
“It was really concerning for my children because they hear from other kids and they were afraid,” said Sandy Fitzpatrick, whose three children attend Washington Township Schools. “You don’t want your kids to be afraid when they’re at school. You want them to feel safe.”
“I love the way our district handled it,” Fitzpatrick said. “They made sure that us, as parents, felt safe. We were able to reassure our children that everything is fine and we have nothing to worry about.”
In a statement, Washington Township Schools Superintendent Joe Bollendorf wrote:
“We were saddened to learn that two of our students were charged with making cyber threats similar to the “clowning” incidents that have been reported in other areas of the country. Our District recognizes the seriousness of these threats and has no tolerance for any proposed acts of violence or personal injury. We are grateful to the community, and especially to the Washington Township Police Department, who worked collaboratively with us to quickly identify those involved and bring swift resolution. The safety of our students and staff remain our foremost priority, and we will continue to hold those that threaten our security accountable.”