Video: Clown Threats Are No Joke For Vineland Public Schools

Posted:

VINELAND, N.J. – Local officials say recent threats of clown attacks at schools across the country and right here in South Jersey are no laughing matter.
Reports of creepy clowns walking around neighborhoods started a few weeks back in South Carolina. However, over the last several days, many schools around the nation have been on high alert due to Twitter and Facebook posts by “Aint Clownin Around” claiming violent attacks would be made on students and teachers.
[caption id="attachment_31869" align="alignright" width="300"]Photo Courtesy of Click2Houston.com The Twitter messaed posted on Friday, September 30th. Photo Courtesy of Click2Houston.com[/caption]
“Friday morning, I was notified by the police and our security that this was going around nationwide. So once they alerted me, I let our principals know and our board members know," said Dr. Mary Gruccio, superintendent of Vineland Public Schools.
The Vineland School District increased security at schools and sent a message to parents making them aware of the threats last Friday.
“It is a nationwide threat and it’s sad that these things have to happen. But so far, fortunately, nobody has been hurt and it’s just been a social media threat," said Gruccio.
However, on Sunday night these threats hit too close to home.
“I received a phone call that some of our students were getting text messages back and forth, specifically that they’d do something at Vineland High School today [on Monday]," said Gruccio.
[caption id="attachment_31875" align="alignright" width="300"]A picture copy of the text reported to Vineland School District officials. Photo taken by Kimberly Kerr on October 3, 2016. A picture copy of the text reported to Vineland School District officials. Photo taken by Kimberly Kerr on October 3, 2016.[/caption]
The security department received a picture of a text message sent to one of the student’s saying, “don’t worry about who I am, just know we will attack VHS on Monday, October 3rd.”
Despite the ominous threat, the security team says they have it under control.
“We haven’t gotten nothing. We haven’t saw nothing. There’s nothing going on. Nobody else is getting any more threats on their phone and all," said John Provenzano, director of security of Vineland Public Schools.
Even though no clown sightings have been confirmed in South Jersey, local authorities are remaining vigilant.
“We’re keeping an eye on it. We’re monitoring it. We’re working closely with school board security and we think that we have the problem under control at this point," said Sgt. Shane Lamont Harris, a member of Vineland Police Department's Juvenile Unit.
According to the police department, the text message threat has been confirmed as hoax, but the school district will continue to have an increased police presence at its schools just to be safe.