UPDATE: A hoax clown threat targets 5 schools in Palm Beach County, with broader threats following

PBPO News:

Schools in Palm Beach County have joined the national ranks to deal with hoax threats that involve creepy clowns. School police are investigating threats made Monday via Instagram and other social media platforms. District officials reported Tuesday morning that the first attack targeted five schools. However, others were made against all schools in the county.

Five schools were targeted: Odyssey Middle School (Carver Middle School), Odyssey Middle School (Santaluces High School) and Village Academy (Village Academy).

However, rumors of threats to other schools were widely circulated by Tuesday morning. Students reported that a photo of a clown dressed in dark clothes standing on Dreyfoos’ School of the Arts campus caused panic and alerted campus police.

Lawrence Leon, School Police Chief, tried to calm parent concerns Monday night by making a robocall to parents whose children were in the targeted schools. Leon said that the threats were not substantiated and that detectives have been investigating the source. Leon said that he would increase police presence at five of the schools Tuesday to ensure that students feel safe.

Officials from school districts did not provide details about Monday’s threats, but an Instagram threat was sent to Extra Credit and threatened teachers, principals, and students at “every school” in Palm Beach County.

Although the hoax might involve clowns, there is nothing funny about them. The district has promised that the pranksters would face criminal charges.

Leon stated that “our detectives are actively investigating the threats and once they find the person or persons behind them, we will bring criminal charges against them.” “We are aware that this hoax is being perpetrated, but we take it seriously and will arrest the people responsible.”

Schools in Houston and Philadelphia reported that they were also investigating threats to students and teachers over the weekend. People posing as clowns posted the threats on social media. They were the latest hoaxes to be dealt with.

According to reports, at least 10 states have seen bizarro clown threats. Schools in Cincinnati were closed last week after a woman claimed she was attacked by a clown with a knife. The story was later discredited, and the woman was arrested.

Two high school students from Central Florida were arrested last week after they wore masks inspired by “The Purge: Anarchy” to scare students. After a threat was made on social media, Lake County went on high alert Friday. It appeared that clowns were planning to kidnap teachers and students.