When a pair of ‘killer clown’ incidents disrupted the daily routine for students at two Escalon Unified School District campuses this past week, the response was quick and effective.
EUSD Superintendent Ron Costa had praise for both the Escalon Police Department and his own staff regarding the incident.
“Clown-related threats are happening all over the country, unfortunately we are not immune to it,” Costa said.
A specific threat to students at the high school followed an incident earlier in the week at El Portal, and Costa said both were dealt with quickly, especially the high school incident.
“That threat was very specific to Escalon High School and to a time,” Costa said of the message received by a student via Instagram on Thursday morning. “We contacted Escalon Police Department, they were on site within minutes, they provided excellent security for us.”
Ultimately, the police investigation also resulted in an arrest, a 16-year-old male student at nearby Vista High. The threat was determined to be a prank, officials said, but because it was a threat, the student was booked for making criminal terrorist threats at Juvenile Hall.
“It was a hoax, just like a vast majority of these are, but our Escalon High School and Vista High administration took it seriously, as did Escalon Police Department,” noted Costa. “The best thing was they worked hard to try and resolve it, to see who was responsible. Within three hours, they had a responsible party arrested and taken into custody.”
Costa said the threat was “a result of poor judgement’ of the 16-year-old.
“Students were alarmed,” he admitted, with the craze sweeping the nation.
But the quick resolution is something he and the students appreciated.
“It speaks very highly of our school administration, our police department and their ability to work together,” Costa said.