‘Killer Clown’ hoax at Coleraine Grammar

Police have issued a warning to young people over the so-called Killer Clown craze. INCR 42-790-CON
Police have issued a warning to young people over the so-called Killer Clown craze. INCR 42-790-CON

The principal of the Coleraine school caught up in a ‘Killer Clown’ hoax on Friday has praised the community for its support.

Dr David Carruthers, head of Coleraine Grammar School, assured parents that pupil safety is paramount after rumours circulated on social media that people dressed in clown costumes would be coming to the school.

School gates were locked for a period and police attended over lunch-time as a precautionary measure.

In a statement on the school’s website, Dr Carruthers said: “Pupil safety is paramount and an internet search will show you that these so-called clowns are sinister in nature and completely unacceptable in a school context.

“I discussed the rumours with the police in Coleraine and took up their offer to have a presence around school at lunch time. The police treated the situation seriously and I would like to thank them for their support.

“There was also a significant staff presence outside at break and lunch and I am grateful to the staff for their help. In the event, nothing happened at either campus.”

The Coleraine Grammar head added should there be any recurrence of the rumour, similar action will be implemented.

“I wish to reassure the school community that the pupils were not in any danger at any point, and please accept my thanks for your support today.”

The PSNI said they have received several reports of social media posts in which people have suggested dressing in clown costumes and going to schools to scare students and teachers.

Assistant Chief Constable Stephen Martin, District Policing Command said: “Encouraging behaviour that has the potential to generate fear or indeed posting threatening messages can lead to a criminal record.

“Crime is crime, whether in the virtual world or the real world and there are consequences. Please don’t get caught up in something that could jeopardise your future.”