LAFAYETTE, La. (The Daily Advertiser) – So far this year, there have been no reported sightings of clowns around Lafayette Parish public schools.
But that doesn’t mean officials aren’t keeping a close eye on the bizarre trend.
In fact, David Thibodaux STEM Magnet Academy was on a “soft lockdown” Friday, in large part because of all the talk about clowns.
Authorities have investigated clown sightings in at least 10 states in recent weeks. Some clowns have reportedly made threats on social media. Children in other states have reported that people dressed as clowns have tried to lure them into wooded or isolated areas.
Joe Craig, the Lafayette school system’s chief administrative officer, said there was no clown sighting and no specific threat made that prompted the Thibodaux soft lockdown.
Rather, the measure was precautionary because classes start there at 6:45 a.m., when it’s still dark outside.
“There’s been so much hype, especially on social media, about these clowns,” Craig said. “At Thibodaux, the kids were told to stay in class between classes. They didn’t have the flexibility to go to the library or quad. Instead of letting kids come and go, because it was dark, especially so early, they just went straight in, went to classes and proceeded with the school day.”
Also on Friday, public schools in Rapides Parish were placed on lockdown for more than an hour as police investigated a social media threat “possibly related” to clown sightings in other states, The Town Talk reported.
Craig said that, in general, parents are notified about soft lockdowns on a “case-by-case” basis.
“In this case, there was nothing specific that prompted the situation,” he said. “They just went ahead with an abundance of caution and were keeping an eye out.”
Craig said that while there have been “a couple of disciplinary incidents” related to clown-ness, “there have been no outside clowns surveying our schools.”