Parents urged to talk to children about ‘clown-related’ threats after Surrey incident

Safer Schools Together says many students see the creepy clown phenomenon as a prank and not as criminal behaviour

A clown at Surrey's Potters House of Horrors.

SURREY — The creepy clown phenomenon that has manifested itself in North America, the United Kingdom and Australia had its first reported incident in Surrey last week.

Theresa Campbell, president of the White Rock-based organization Safer Schools Together, subsequently issued a parent advisory bulletin on “clown-related” threats, noting that “many students see this as a prank and not as criminal behaviour.”

Campbell said the majority of the threats, which in other areas have “typically” referenced “kidnapping or targeting schools with threats of violence,” have been made through social media platforms like Instagram and Snapchat.

Surrey School District spokesman Doug Strachan said Wednesday that Surrey’s Safe Schools department reports that there have been “no clown incidents involving schools” in this city.

“I haven’t heard that it’s been an issue in the district,” he added.

Meantime, four teenagers were chased by someone wearing a clown mask at about 8 p.m. Oct. 5th, near 60th Avenue and 144th Street in Newton.

Surrey RCMP Sergeant Alanna Dunlop said the clown appeared to be carrying a bat.

“He was laughing. He came out of the bush,” she said. “They ran.”

Once the teens reached an intersection, she said, “They went one direction and he went another.”

Nobody was physically harmed but police are “taking it seriously,” Dunlop said of the incident.

She said the person was wearing dark pants, a black hoodie and a clown mask.

“I don’t have any description of the mask,” she said.

There was also a clown incident in Langley.

Campbell, formerly the manager of Safe Schools for the Surrey School District, noted in her bulletin that it’s “imperative” that parents speak with their children about reporting clown-related threats if they encounter them on social media “and bring them to the attention of school officials and/or law enforcement.

“It is also important,” her bulletin reads, “to make students aware that if they engage in, or participate in any way, in this type of threat-related behaviour they will experience discipline and/or criminal charges.”

tom.zytaruk@thenownewspaper.com

 

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Surrey Community Leader award winners revealed

Ten outstanding representatives of Surrey’s vibrant community took home trophies Tuesday night

Surrey football teams in Subway Bowl playoff hunt this week

Lord Tweedsmuir Panthers play at BC Place Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 16

MINTY: No magic wand in ’70s-themed ‘Cinderella’ panto in Surrey

Cast, crew and directors work hard to bring musical show to arts centre stage, starting Nov. 27

White Rock to ‘embark on a new direction’ for city’s management

Dan Bottrill has been the city’s chief administrative officer since 2012

Five free Christmas movies in Surrey on Cineplex ‘Community Day’ for charity

Donations encouraged on the morning of Saturday, Dec. 7

‘We love you, Alex!’: Trebek gets choked up by ‘Jeopardy!’ contestant’s answer

The emotional moment came in Monday’s episode when Trebek read Dhruv Gaur’s final answer

Judge rejects Terrace man’s claim that someone else downloaded child porn on his phone

Marcus John Paquette argued that other people had used his phone, including his ex-wife

Petition for free hospital parking presented to MP Jody Wilson-Raybould

What started as a B.C. campaign became a national issue, organizer said

Bargaining to resume in Metro Vancouver transit strike as bus driver overtime ban looms

Both sides might be headed back to the table to prevent new overtime ban

Petition to ‘bring back Don Cherry’ goes viral after immigrant poppy rant

Cherry was fired from his co-hosting role for the Coach’s Corner segment on Nov. 11.

B.C.’s high gasoline prices still a mystery, Premier John Horgan says

NDP plans legislation this month, seeks action from Justin Trudeau

Group walking on thin ice at B.C. lake sparks warning from RCMP

At least seven people were spotted on Joffre Lakes, although the ice is not thick enough to be walked on

VIDEO: Don Cherry says he was fired, not sorry for ‘Coach’s Corner’ poppy rant

Cherry denies he was singling out visible minorities with his comments

B.C. teacher suspended for incessantly messaging student, writing friendship letter

Female teacher pursued Grade 12 student for friendship even after being rebuked

Most Read