An 11-year-old Georgia girl was arrested for bringing a knife to her school, despite her tearful claim that she did so because she was afraid of clowns, The Athens Banner-Herald is reporting.
She may have a point: creepy clowns have been scaring children around the country in recent weeks, particularly in the Georgia-South Carolina area. As theT Inquisitr reported last week, people dressed as scary clowns have been spotted in the region over the past few weeks, in some cases deliberately scaring and chasing kids or trying to lure them into the woods. In the quiet Georgia college town of LaGrange, a group of clowns emerged from a nearby abandoned house and started chasing kids who had been waiting for a school bus.
— WSB-TV (@wsbtv) September 14, 2016
Similarly, a group of clowns had apparently chased some children near an Athens community center at around the same time of the LaGrange incident.
The unnamed Athens girl had either heard about the LaGrange and Athens incidents specifically, or had just heard about clown incidents around the South in general, and decided, perhaps understandably, that she needed protection. At least, that’s what she told the cops, according to a police report.
“She said that the reason she had the knife was for protection for her and her family because she had heard the stories about clowns jumping out of the woods and attacking children.”
Anisa Sullivan Jimenez, spokeswoman for the Clarke County School District, said that Athens schools don’t make it a point to teach the kids about clown safety.
“Our elementary comprehensive health curriculum addresses personal safety with students. We have not specifically addressed clowns, except in individual cases where students expressed concerns directly to teachers.”
Unfortunately for the girl, though her reasons for bringing the knife to school may be valid (at least, in her 11-year-old mind), she’s going to be in a heap of trouble. In the era of Zero Tolerance, bringing a weapon to school is a criminal offense that, in some jurisdictions, will get you kicked out of school for a year. Just ask the Michigan kid who found a knife in a backpack he’d bought at Goodwill, did the right thing by turning it into school officials, and got rewarded with a one-year suspension.
What’s going to happen to the Athens girl remains unclear; the police report only indicates that she was referred to the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice to face a charge of possessing a weapon on school property. Because public schools can’t legally discuss student discipline, the school has not indicated what sort of punishment she’ll receive at school.
The summer of 2016 will go down in history as the summer that creepy clowns scaring children (and adults) became a thing.
It all started around the end of August, at an apartment complex in Greenville, South Carolina. As Fox News reported at the time, residents of the Fleetwood Manor Apartments reported to police that a person dressed as a clown was trying to lure children into the woods.
Greenville SC Clown, sighted near “Fleetwood Manor,” a low end apartment complex. pic.twitter.com/B2GhZsYFqo
— Jay Dillon (@vtology) September 10, 2016
Within days, clown sightings were spreading across South Carolina. Then North Carolina. Then Georgia. Creepy clowns have even been spotted in Ohio, hundreds of miles away.
As for what these clown sightings are all about, no one seems to know. As Buzzfeed reported earlier this month, the makers of two upcoming movies about scary clowns have both denied that the clown sightings are part of a viral publicity stunt. Most likely, it’s just a series of copycat crimes mimicking the original South Carolina clown incident.
[Featured Image by Vladanna/Shutterstock]