2 girls charged, expelled for clown threats in Anderson County

Two Anderson County teen girls faces charge and have been expelled from school after authorities say they made threats on social media that alluded to clowns doing harm at school, according to the Anderson County Sheriff's Office.

The unnamed girls are age 14 and 15. They're being charged in juvenile court with making threats on social media.

The threats were posted this week "on a social media site that ultimately led to the identification of these students as those responsible," according to a release from the Sheriff's Office. Deputies and school resource officers investigated.

"These threats were similar to those being made across the country, including yesterday in Claiborne County, concerning 'clowns' coming to do harm in schools," according to the Sheriff's Office notice.

Similar bogus, unfounded threats have been reported to authorities across the Southeast. Some have come from teens, some from adults.

According to Anderson County authorities, deputies and school resource officers "will continue to have an enhanced presence in our schools to ensure the safety of our students, staff, and parents."

Deputies continue to investigate.

On Tuesday night, authorities were notified about threats that informed Cumberland Gap High School students not to go to school because "clowns are coming to your school just giving you a heads up we are shooting it up.”

Claiborne County Sheriff David Ray, investigators, and patrol officers carefully searched the school and perimeter Wednesday morning. 

According to Claiborne County Schools, attendance was down at the high school and several left after hearing about the social media rumors. 

Investigators found the source of the threats Wednesday morning and discovered it came from a Claiborne County student who wanted to create a lockdown at the high school. 

Police in Georgia arrested two women in mid September for making false claims about a clown trying to lure children into woods.

Several weeks ago police in North Carolina and South Carolina checked out similar reports. They proved to be unfounded.

USA Today contributed to this story.


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