The local middle school student spoke with conviction when describing the threat: He said clowns were spotted on the bike path in Barrington and were kidnapping boys and girls.
Other stories shared by local students include clowns hiding in the woods near schools, clowns scaring people in nearby Swansea, Mass., and clowns trying to lure children away from their homes.
None of the stories has proven to be true, and now Barrington Superintendent of Schools Michael Messore is taking a proactive step in combating the rumors.
Earlier this week, Mr. Messore emailed parents about the clown stories.
"I would like to address the recent concerns that members of our school community have communicated to our schools regarding national social media postings this week stating, 'That a person dressed as a clown would be showing up at schools,' wrote Mr. Messore.
"I have been in contact with Barrington’s Chief of Police and our School Resource Officer to assess the social media postings. Although there is no immediate threat to our schools, the Barrington Police encourages any persons to contact them with information regarding threats to schools, and invites parents to use this opportunity to speak with their children regarding the use of social media.
"Again, if you have any safety concerns or information please contact the Barrington Police at (401) 437-3937."
Mr. Messore said he spoke with the principals of Barrington schools, who will "continue to follow our district safety protocols." He also encouraged parents to contact their children's principals if they have any further questions.
Stories of clowns wandering the streets have been surfacing all across the country, and just last week someone posted to a Facebook page that a person in a clown costume had been arrested in Bristol. When questioned on the issue, Bristol police said the Facebook post was false and the photo attached to it was taken in New York, not Bristol.
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