Clown Paranoia Haunts High School Students

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As the new clown paranoia had spread throughout the States, many schools clamored to take action, and this held true for metro Atlanta school districts.

Coweta County had been dealing with “The Newnan Clown,” a menacing figure who had been publishing several Facebook posts threatening to go after children in the county. In Augusta, there were reports sent to the police about a strange man in a clown mask. Also, Fulton County officials sent out a precautionary letter on Oct. 6 notifying parents of any clown-related threats or crimes.

The now-dying clown paranoia has left an impact on the general public, eagerly gossiping high-schoolers, and those who are professional clowns for a living. Because of the rampant fear of clowns, fewer people are hiring clowns. There also are reports of people even openly shaming or threatening those in the profession. “For a lot of people, clowns represent a good time,” said Principal Curtis Douglass. “But some just put the mask on and it scares people. In a mask, you can’t identify somebody.”

With schools receiving threats, it was difficult to assume which are real and which are just pranks. “We have to also take into consideration what may be a prank for one person may also be a real threat from a sociopath,” said Assistant Principal Robert Whitman.

Now that the clown paranoia is ebbing, it’s hoped that actual, professional clowns will recover economically. When the idea of clowns shifted from comedy to horror, paid gigs at birthday parties and carnivals dried up. Now that the scare is over, hopefully clowns can start earning a decent living again, no doubt turning the sad faces glad ones again.

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