By Craig Huber
CLARK COUNTY, NV (CNN) — The Clark County School District is calling it an “epidemic.” Reports of “killer clowns” threatening schools across the Valley have caused panic.
On Thursday morning, that panic resulted in several children being injured.
“Over the last nine days, daily, we’re getting calls — just probably as many calls as you guys are getting. We’re probably getting double that,” Clark County School District Police Department Capt. Ken Young said. “This is widespread even as far as Canada.”
Online rumors and threats have transformed into real issues. According to police, Thursday morning at Leavitt Middle School in Las Vegas, someone thought it would be funny to announce there was a clown on campus.
A stampede ensued, and six children were hurt, one of whom had to go to a hospital.
“Parents have to make a decision – Do I stay at work? Do I go and pick up my kid?” Young said.
Young said most of the online clown posts aren’t technically considered threats because there’s nothing illegal about a “clown” saying he or she is going to show up at a school. Police only consider those posts credible threats when violence is in the mix.
“When we get to the bottom of the information, there was really never a threat,” Young said.
Even if a clown were to show up at a school, it wouldn’t technically be illegal.
“There have been no incidents of any clowns that have chased kids, that have battered kids, have been seen with guns,” Young said.
Despite that, police said they are taking every report seriously.
As for the people posing as clowns online, though they’ve presumably left digital footprints, police have yet to track them down.
“The people that are doing this are very smart. They’re very computer savvy,” Young said.
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