With all the crazy clown talk, it’s hard to keep kids away from a bizarre phenomenon that won’t go away.
“Bullies are everywhere and this whole clown thing has taken over in some ways,” said Jenifer Day, who has a 7-year-old daughter.
A 12-year-old boy in Pasco County told authorities he thought his threat on social media against Seven Springs Middle School was funny.
But he was was arrested as an adult.
Psychologist Dr. Harold Shinitzky said most people who act like this do it for the excitement.
“You can hear it by talking to them, they’ll express it. I’m trying to be cool, I’m trying to freak people out. Trying to get something out of it, he said.
Other clown-related threats are under investigation involving three middle schools in Hillsbourogh County.
It’s all leading to confusion and fear for some parents and students.
“Like I’ve heard a bunch of different things, like it’s to promote the movie “It” that’s coming out,” said Day.
Dr. Shinitzsky, who co-authored a book called Take Control of Your Anxiety, said the most important thing is talking to your kids about the images they are seeing and the rumors they are hearing.
“What is that they really are concerned about. You might find that there’s a complete misnomer that they have and you can reassure them,” he said.
He said the Pasco student’s arrest should also reassure children, that all of these threats are really just hoaxes.
“It’s not a creepy clown. it’s a person, who’s behind that mask. And if they are a young adult. They are just trying to get shock value,” said Shinitzsky.
While law enforcement cracks down on anyone making threats, the Dr. said don’t expect this to stop anytime soon, especially with Halloween a few weeks away.