Saginaw Township middle school in secure mode Thursday after clown threat

Published: Oct. 6, 2016 at 11:47 AM EDT
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(10/06/16) - The school year is only a month old and already two schools in Saginaw County have had to deal with threat issues.

One at Carrollton High School last month and Thursday morning, one at White Pine Middle School in Saginaw Township.

A student at the school received a message Wednesday night through the social media site Instagram. The message was from “Casey the Clown” and stated that the person was coming to school and to be prepared.

Township Police Chief Don Pussehl says there was another reason to be concerned.

“And then it gave a list of names, which included some students and two teachers I believe,” he said.

The school was placed in secure mode - meaning all doors, including classroom doors, were locked.

Police eventually talked to the 11-year-old girl who sent the message. She said it was a prank.

The school is handling the issue internally, while police will send the case to the prosecutor's office to review.

“We caution kids that might be thinking it's a prank, it's a joke, when they send a message like this, to be careful because it could rise to the level of a crime,” Pussehl said.

A 14-year-old Carrollton High School student faces disciplinary action from the school and has been criminally charged for posting a picture on Facebook of person with a gun, with the caption "Don't come to school tomorrow."

“In some of these cases, yes, the prosecutor does issue criminal charges against the person who sent the message,” Pussehl said.

Social media messages involving clowns have also been an issue in the Flushing School District in Genesee County, so much so a reminder of the problems they can cause was sent to parents.