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Friday, September 30, 2016

Don't Clown Around

I guess I shouldn't expect to say, after an educational leadership career reaching four decades, that I've seen everything. The latest trend or issue emerging in news reports and spreading over social media is, however, a new one.
Reports of scary or creepy clowns have popped up like a skin rash all across the nation.  This new phenomena has gained traction through various social media sites. Unfortunately, it has raised anxiety of children and grown larger with their fears. So, we ended up posting the following narrative in our weekly newsletter and school facebook page.
 We are asking that you speak with your children about the growing rumors of creepy or scary clowns that seem to be everywhere. There were a number of children talking about the subject at school yesterday at lunch or recess.
Unfortunately, the media reports of a supposed sighting in Georgia, or another one in Ohio,... have led children to believe that they may be around the corner, or in every cluster of trees. ...
A recent report in the New York Times indicated that 12 people have been arrested in different areas around the country for perpetrating hoaxes and adding to the fears associated with these clowns. One police chief labeled the trend a "national prank."
Sit down with your children and talk to them about how they should react to concerns about this topic or any other issue that sparks fear or worry or anxiety. Encourage them to speak to a trusted adult and share their concerns. Discuss the differences between fact and fiction, jokes for laughter and pranks that harm.
It's difficult for a child who sees a news story about something like this, or a murder or bombing, happening hundreds or thousands of miles away and not understand that the film or pictures supporting the story do not mean that danger lurks down the street or behind every tree

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