HOUSTON - According to HISD, a 14-year-old student has been charged in connection with a "clown" threat.
The Harris County District Attorney's Office accepted the charge against the student on Monday. The official charge is making a terroristic threat. The student is accused of threatening "to shoot up an HISD school with his clown friends" on social media using an image of a clown.
HISD says that the charge was filed based on evidence gathered through an HISD Police Department investigation into multiple threats against schools. HISD police are continuing to investigate other threats made against other campuses.
"We can't ignore it," said HISD Spokesman Jason Spencer. "We have to take action whenever someone makes a threat against our students."
Just last week, several school districts had to use extra security after threats were made on social media. Alvin ISD is also investigating a social media post about clowns there.
Monday morning, Spring ISD was the latest district to issue a security statement due to new clown threat hoaxes made online.
The "clown" threat is not being taken lightly by many in the community. Arne's, a party store in the Heights, has stopped selling clown costumes.
"Arne's is concerned with the community and the safety of the community first and foremost," said Peggy Ricks, Arne's employee. "So it's a small price to pay to err on the side of caution."
One less costume seems like a good idea to a retired police officer visiting the store.
"You never know what's going to happen," said Gary Rodgers, Arne's customer. "It could be a robbery; itcould be a prank, but somebody could get hurt really bad."
The student charged in the HISD incident is not being identified because he is a juvenile.
"It's not funny," said Spencer. "If you're going to make a threat, you're going to be investigated and if your police are able to identify you, you're going to have consequences."