By Miriam Raftery
October 7, 2016 (El Cajon )—El Cajon Police provided extra security today at Montgomery Middle School after a series of threats circulated on Instagram by a user named “elcajonclown.”
ECM obtained a copy of one threat, which read, “Who wants to get hired killing teachers?” 10 News reports an additional threat posted, which stated, "Tomorrow we attacking Montgomery at 9:30 AM send this [expletive] to montgomerys teachers we will kill all teachers and kidnap students we will have 19 people age 17+ be ready.”
The operator of an online public safety forum in Lakeside told ECM that he heard about the threat from a concerned parent last and urged her to call 911. “I called 911, too,” he reported.
El Cajon Police were notified of the threats around 9:30 last night, according to Lieutenant Rob Ransweiler. “We began working with the Cajon Valley School District at that time to ensure the safety of their students. The messages appeared to have been posted by a juvenile.”
The threat appears to have been inspired by the “creepy clown” craze reported in over two dozen states. Some cases have involved people in scary clown masks attempting to frighten others. Others involved threats made against schools though no violence has actually occurred. In one case, clown mask-clad individuals reportedly tried to lure children into a woods.
Police provided an extra officer today on the campus at Montgomery MiddleSchool, where school officials ordered classrooms locked from the outside. All access points at the school were also locked down or monitored.
“Throughout the day, students began to provide staff with information that ultimately led to the identity of the 7th grade student from Montgomery that posted the threats on Instagram,” Lt. Ransweiler reported late this afternoon. “We are working with the school district to notify the parents of the student who posted the threat and to determine the appropriate disposition of the student.”
El Cajon Police will thoroughly investigate any threats toward schools, whether or not they are considered credible, Lt. Ransweiler said. “We ask that parents remain active and vigilant toward monitoring their children’s social media activities,” he added.
Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to contact the El Cajon Police Department at (619) 579-3311. Individuals with information on this crime who wish to remain anonymous can contact Crime Stoppers Tip Line at (888) 580-8477.