You may have seen the extensive national media coverage of a ‘craze’ that is currently circulating where participants dress as clowns and either stand in quiet spots waiting to be seen, or they approach people with the intention of giving them a scare.
The craze is believed to have originated in America and has quickly spread around the world.
I’ve been asked to contact you by the Head of Education and Family Support as we understand that there have been a number of incidents in the Bridgend County Borough area recently, and that some pupils have been discussing them in school.
South Wales Police have confirmed that they consider this craze to constitute anti-social behaviour and that they will take action against perpetrators. They have issued the following warning:
We want to remind you that dressing up as clowns or in costumes to frighten others intentionally will have consequences.
A number of reports of people dressing as clowns with the intention of frightening others have been received by the force in recent days.
The public is reminded of the consequences of such actions.
We have received a small number of similar reports locally and would like to remind people that this behaviour can cause concern and worry, particularly to young children and the elderly, and they may end up committing an offence.
While the craze is well-known and has been extensively covered on You Tube and other social media sites, you may feel that it is appropriate to offer pupils further reassurance about its nature as a prank. If so, any pupil who experiences such behaviour should inform a responsible adult as soon as possible, and incidents should be reported to South Wales Police via the 101 number.
You may also want to remind pupils that South Wales Police have emphasised that anyone caught participating in the craze for the purpose of frightening others will face consequences.
In our school, we have addressed the issue in whole school assemblies and individual classes, reassuring pupils that this is a prank and not real.