OAKLAND (KRON) — A “creepy clown” scare prompted all Oakland schools to “lockout” on Friday afternoon, school district officials said.
School officials decided the “creepy clown” situation was getting out of hand, a school district spokesman said.
The lockout happened between noon and 2 p.m. The incident happened due to clown threat “chatter.”
The lockout means limiting access to the school grounds, closing off entrance and exits to the school, and limiting access to the schools to one entrance and exit.
All school activities continued as normal.
Students are leaving school as normal Friday afternoon. There are 86 schools in the district.
District spokesman John Sasaki said the idea behind the lockout was to prevent anyone wanting to engage in “creepy clown” antics from coming on campus so teachers wouldn’t be distracted.
No one reported seeing any clowns near campus Friday and school activities went on without a problem. After school activities, including football games, will go on tonight, Sasaki said.
School officials are quite certain that the “creepy clown” sightings and threats in the Bay Area are hoaxes and copycat behavior.
No students, faculty or staff at the schools have been injured because of the threats or sightings.
Clown sightings have been reported throughout the Bay Area all week, most menacingly in Concord, where a mother reported a “creepy clown” tried to kidnap her 1-year-old child on Wednesday afternoon. The woman kicked the clown in the shin and the person fled.
The woman kicked the clown in the shin and the person fled. No suspects had been located as of Friday, according to Concord police.
The Rohnert Park Department of Public Safety said Friday that officers have responded to nine clown sightings in the last three days, though nothing criminal is suspected. Sonoma State University has responded to clown sightings as well as an unrelated person in a gorilla suit, according to Rohnert Park police.
Fremont police reported a clown sighting Friday morning. Richmond police confirmed Friday that a clown was seen around 2 p.m. Wednesday near Planet Fitness at 4925 MacDonald Ave., police spokesman Lt. Felix Tan said.
Other sightings and threats have been reported in Antioch, Burlingame and Fairfield this week.
The “creepy clown” threat has been directed mainly toward schools in the Bay Area and across the country this year. The threats, posted on social media sites like Instagram, began earlier this year on the East Coast of the U.S. and have spread to the West Coast. Most of the threats have been hoaxes.
Most of the threats have been hoaxes. The clowns that have been seen have scared people but few have been dangerous.
The East Side High School District in San Jose has responded to the threats by deciding that they will not allow anyone to wear a clown costume or any costume that hides the identity of the student for Halloween.
Whether students will be allowed to wear costumes at all will be decided by officials at each school.
Bay City News contributed to this report.