A threat made by people dressed as clowns has law enforcement in Mid-Missouri’s Howard County increasing security. Sheriff Mike Neal says a parent reported that a student received a Facebook post from an account titled “Aint Clownin Around”, threatening to kidnap students and kill teachers.

Photo courtesy of Howard County's Facebook page

Photo courtesy of Howard County’s Facebook page

“Any threat to a school or the kids or anything like that, we take all those threats serious. Whether there’s any actual validity to them or not, we take those serious,” says Neal. “It (the threat) didn’t specifically say Howard County. The problem is that the student is here in Howard County and it was sent to her Facebook page. Any time you get anything like that you take it serious whether it is or it isn’t.”

That post was made public on his department’s Facebook page.

“We are going to increase the patrols around the school and administrators of the school are taking actions as well to ensure the safety of the students and staff,” says Neal.

Neal says people can dress up as clowns, but they can’t act in a threatening manner.

Suspicious clown sightings have occurred during the past week in Moberly, Kirksville, at least two other Northeast Missouri communities and nationwide.