Several cryptic posts from the Facebook page of a group known as the ‘Flomo Klowns’ put two Southern Alabama schools on lock down for a while Thursday morning.
The Flomaton Police Department received information from a parent that her child had been sent threatening messages on Facebook from the group.
After confirming the threat, the Escambia County School District put Flomaton High School and Flomaton Elementary School in Atmore on lock down this morning. The lock down was lifted at 11:30 a.m.
Escambia County Schools Superintendent John Knott said the parent of the student contacted the Flomaton Police Department about the incident.
“It’s my understanding that it’s the clown character who has been making waves across the United States,” said Knott. “They determined the facts and immediately contacted the school.”
After speaking with local law enforcement, Knott said the Flomaton High School, which has about 400 students, and the nearly 300 students at Flomaton Elementary School, which sits in the adjacent lot to the high school, were put into lock down.
“They came in and initiated their resources to come to the school and begin the process of following our protocol procedure,” said Knott.
The lock down procedure begins with the school locking all doors to classes and entrances into the building. Next, 30 Flomaton police and Escambia County Sheriff’s Office deputies secured the school grounds and searched the area.
“Nobody goes out and nobody comes in as we follow through our procedure until the school is clear,” said Knott.
Earlier reports said that the clowns were sighted near the schools campus, but Knott said that report was inaccurate. The hysteria came after the group posted these two updates on their Facebook profile earlier Thursday morning that have now been deleted.
He says the images on the Facebook page are hard to look at.
“I think it’s horrible,” said Knott. “We need to send a message to our students don’t engage in any kind of communication with them.”
Knott says the threats clowns have been making on students in recent weeks in North Carolina and Georgia are not to be taken lightly.
“We take any threat especially a specific student seriously when it’s a threat of harm,” said Knott.
He wants this to serve as a message for parents and students to mindful of random people sending friend request on Facebook.
“I encourage our students do not friend these characters,” said Knott. “And for parents to monitor and talk with their children about not engaging in any kind of communication with these kind of characters.”