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Clown Update

Update to Clown Situation

We want to update you on Tuesday morning’s incident at Tahoma High School involving the detention of a student wearing a clown mask. Since the initial incident, we have received additional details. This is what happened:

Tahoma’s school resource officer, a deputy sheriff, responded to a report from a Tahoma High School teacher, who saw someone wearing a clown mask in the school parking lot shortly before school started this morning. The officer and school officials were already investigating potential threats posted on social media a few hours earlier that were apparently linked to the “creepy clown” phenomenon that is occurring across the country when the clown-mask incident occurred. The officer responded immediately to the report and detained four students, including one who was standing in the parking lot wearing a clown mask. Additional police officers arrived to assist, though the students cooperated fully. Two of those students later received emergency expulsions for causing a significant disruption. One of the students was disciplined for bringing the clown mask to school and the other was disciplined for wearing it while standing in the parking lot as other students arrived at school. School officials have found no link between the students and the social media posts; their expulsion is the result of causing a significant disruption at school. The students can appeal the expulsion.

An earlier report stated that the officer who detained the students had drawn his weapon. That was incorrect. The officer was carrying a rifle but did not point it at the students.

We do not believe there is a credible threat to students or staff at any of our schools. The social media posts are an apparent hoax and the students’ decision to bring and wear the clown mask represent poor judgment, not a threat.

-Original Post Below

Tahoma High School and district officials had seen social media posts connected to clowns and violence Monday night, and were investigating them in conjunction with police.

This morning, a school resource officer was already on campus when a staff member spotted someone before school started wearing a clown mask in a car in the parking lot.

The officer responded immediately and students were detained. It was determined that the student had no weapon and there was no threat. Most students were not yet at school.

We temporarily held buses from coming to campus or delivering students for a few minutes until we determined that there was no threat, then students were delivered as usual.

Four students were in the car and are being investigated. The student wearing the clown mask is facing discipline. The high school is back on its normal schedule.

Please contact the communications office with any questions at kpatters@tahomasd.us or 425-413-3409.

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