HOUSTON (FOX 26) - A 14-year-old Houston Independent School District student has been arrested and charged in relation to what is being called the 'creepy clown school threats, a problem which has been plaguing the U.S. The teen is charged with making terroristic threats for allegedly posting an image of a clown on a social media account and then making threats against a particular Houston ISD campus.
Parents have been concerned since August as Facebook and other social media posts have made their way throughout the U.S., featuring strange-looking clowns and people posting anonymously who have threatened to harm students and teachers at schools.
In just a number of days since Houston ISD was threatened, the alleged threat has led to a a teen caught and charged.
"We take all these kinds of matters very seriously," explains Houston ISD Superintendent Richard Carranza. "Students' safety is of paramount concern to us and I want to assure the public our police department was on it from the beginning,"
In fact, FOX 26 News has learned that the Houston ISD Police Department took the threat seriously and that its investigation was immediate and intense as officers uncovered every piece of evidence possible leading them to the alleged student who posted online threats against the specific HISD campus.
"When it’s concerning our kids, our students we can not take anything like this lightly because we want them to feel as safe as possible," adds Houston ISD school board member Wanda Adams.
"Although there are legal consequences and the legal system will have to play itself out, we’re also going to make sure, as much as possible, and make this a learning event for not only this student but all students that this isn’t something to play with," says Carranza.
For anyone who thinks making a threat against a school is funny?
"There’s no such thing as a joke when it comes to threatening the safety of any students or any schools or any communities," adds Carranza. "My message to parents is monitor what your children are doing on line, be in their business. This is a bell that cannot be unrung."
Superintendent Carranza says from the information gathered so far, it appears this student made the posts as a hoax and did not plan to carry out any of the threats.
Houston ISD released the following statement on Monday afternoon:
The Harris County District Attorney's Office on Monday accepted a charge of making a terroristic threat against a 14-year-old HISD student. The student is accused of threatening an HISD school on social media using an image of a clown.
The charge was filed based on evidence gathered through a Houston ISD Police Department investigation into multiple threats against schools. Similar threats have been made against schools throughout the nation using various anonymous social media accounts. HISD police are continuing to investigate other threats made against district campuses.
The student charged Monday with making one of the threats is not being identified because he is a juvenile.