Individuals behind social media clown threats identified, additi - FOX Carolina 21

Individuals behind social media clown threats identified, additional security at 2 Spartanburg Co. schools

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Courtesy: Spartanburg Dist. 7 Courtesy: Spartanburg Dist. 7

School district officials said additional security will be placed at Dorman and Spartanburg high schools after a clown threat was posted on Instagram.

The Instagram post features a message from a person claiming to be from "CJ the clown." In the message, CJ said he and his clown friends would attack both high schools on Friday.

Spartanburg County School Districts 6 and 7 released this joint statement:

In an abundance of caution, the Superintendents of School Districts 7 and 6 have increased security at Spartanburg High School and Dorman High School following a recent Instagram post. While the message is not considered to be credible, the matter has been turned over to the Sheriff’s Office for investigation. If you have any information related to the post, please contact the District office or the Spartanburg Sheriff’s Office.

The Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office is also investigating the threat and working to identify the person responsible for the post.

Lt. Kevin Bobo released this statement Monday morning:

"In conjunction with both school districts, we are actively investigating the credibility of the threat and attempting to identify the poster. We are also assisting both school districts in providing extra security at both high schools in addition to the school resource officers already assigned to those schools, out of an abundance of caution."

After an investigation into the posts, a Spartanburg District 7 official said Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office had traced the posts back to 2 individuals. One of the posts (CJ the Clown) was determined to have come out of Frankfurt, New York, and another post associated with the original threat (Bill the Clown) was made by a juvenile student at Spartanburg High School.

Spartanburg District 7 released the following statement on Wednesday:

"Spartanburg District 7 Chief Communications Officer, Sally Hammond stated today that, with the help of local law enforcement officials at the Spartanburg Sheriff’s Office, investigators are making progress resolving the recent situation pertaining to a threatening social media posting on Instagram Sunday, October 9, 2016. “As you may remember,” said Hammond, “the District was alerted over the weekend about a threatening Instagram post aimed at the Spartanburg and Dorman High School communities. Similar to the clown pranks that are frightening citizens throughout the region, the post was highly inflammatory and prompted both Districts to take immediate action.” Hammond said today, the Spartanburg Sheriff’s Office determined that the initial post (CJ the Clown) originated out of Frankfurt, New York, while an associated post to the threat (Bill the Clown) was apparently made by a minor at Spartanburg High School.

The Spartanburg County Sheriff’s office has communicated to both districts that they do not deem the threats to be credible.  “While we hoped the social media posts on Instagram were not credible, said Hammond, “we’ve taken it as seriously as we take any threat to the safety of our students and our schools. Although Spartanburg High School has continued on a normal schedule this week, we want to thank our students and families for their patience as we’ve dealt with this disruption.”

Hammond said the District is prohibited from sharing any information about the minor in question, except for the fact that the student’s behavior will be subject to the school’s disciplinary code. “Needless to say this is unacceptable behavior and District 7 has no tolerance for it.”

On Monday, school officials notified parents and families about the incident and increased security measures at Spartanburg High School."

Spartanburg District 6 also released an additional statement on the incident Wednesday:

"In an effort to keep our District Six families informed, we would like to make you aware that the persons involved in the recent "clown" threats have been identified.  The Spartanburg Sheriff’s Office has determined that the initial Instagram post by “CJ the Clown” originated out of New York and an associated threat by “Bill the Clown” was apparently made by a minor at Spartanburg High School. Investigators say the threats are not credible. However, due to the seriousness of these actions, law enforcement and school officials are currently dealing with the individuals involved.  As an added precaution, District Six will continue to take additional safety measures during Friday night’s football game against Spartanburg High School. We will continue to work with the sheriff's department as they continue this ongoing investigation. We strongly believe that every student deserves the right to learn in a safe and secure environment. Thank you to everyone who shared information with us related to this incident."

Spartanburg Districts 6 and 7 also shared that additional security would be present at the Dorman vs. Spartanburg High School football game Friday night.

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