Both San Ramon high schools were targets of ultimately unsubstantiated social media threats of "creepy clowns" in recent days, similar to posts made in other cities in the Bay Area and across the nation, according to local school and police officials.
San Ramon Valley school district officials received a report Wednesday of a Twitter threat made against California High School from someone identifying themselves as a clown, according to district spokeswoman Elizabeth Graswich. A similar threat followed for Dougherty Valley High School on Thursday.
San Ramon police were alerted and added more police presence at both schools as a precaution starting Wednesday.
"The clown threats are still unsubstantiated," Lt. Denton Carlson said Thursday. "We have increased our police presence on both San Ramon high school campuses and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future."
There had been no reports of "creepy clown" threats in Danville as of early Thursday afternoon, Danville police chief Steve Simpkins said.
Clown threats, in which people threaten to dress up in clown costumes and show up at schools to commit crimes, have been reported across the country and have been deemed in most cases as hoaxes.
Police in San Mateo, Fairfield, Antioch, Oakland, Concord and Burlingame have received reports of similar threats in recent days.
The most serious clown-related incident occurred in Concord on Wednesday afternoon, when police received a report of a man dressed as a clown trying to kidnap a 1-year-old child at a bus stop. That incident remains under investigation, according to Concord police.
The Twitter threat against Cal High on Wednesday prompted school district officials to email an advisory to district parents, warning them about the "creepy clown" trend and recommending they speak with their children about "making good choices online."
"The San Ramon Valley Unified School District and its partnering law enforcement agencies take all threats very seriously and investigate them thoroughly. As always, the safety of our students and staff is our top priority," Graswich wrote in the email alert.
"Social media posts that threaten a school and/or any student is considered a terrorist threat, is punishable by law, and could result in disciplinary action from the school district," she added.
The message closed by directing parents to the district's Digital Citizenship website for advice and information about broaching the topic with their kids.
The unsubstantiated "creepy clown" posts come the same week as the San Ramon Valley school board approved a resolution declaring Oct. 16-22 as Digital Citizenship Week. This year's local theme is "Digital Footprints, teaching our students, staff and parents that everything posted online leaves behind a footprint," according to the district website.
Editor's note: Information from the Bay City News Service was used in this report.