Three years ago today, I started this blog because I wanted to share all of the amazing things the children and teens in my life do that inspire me to bring the awesome…always. Somewhere along the way, I jumped off the blogger wagon. I went into hibernation. But it wasn’t because kids stopped being awesome–it was because I stopped documenting it. My bad. Full stop.
So, what brings me back? Tonight?
Clowns. Real and rumoured. And not the Patch Adams kind.
You see, since mid-September, American teenagers (mostly) have been using social media to post clown threats to public spaces and schools. SCHOOLS–the only safe places for some of our most vulnerable children. Some who have experienced traumas so terrible that they would paralyze the strongest adult. And the now the hysteria and pranks have arrived in Canada.
So let’s start here:
Scaring children is not okay. Intimidating the public is not okay. Taking up valuable police resources is not okay. This clown thing is not okay.
Teens, you are better than this. Your little brothers and sisters and cousins and neighbours are watching, and they’re frightened. So badly that 11-year-olds are bringing weapons to school to protect themselves. Give your mask-wearing heads a shake.
This is not funny. This is mischief, the police-are-watching kind.
More importantly, this is a misuse of police time. You see, while you’re out there terrorizing communities and making false reports, you’re forcing police to use their resources to provide unnecessary patrols. You’re forcing them to be on “clown watch” when they should be responding to emergency calls–real emergencies. You see, these pranks endanger the safety and well-being of others.
Scaring people is not okay. Not today, tomorrow, on Halloween or ever.
And if you’re not worried about getting in trouble with the police because you’re a minor and “Meh,” maybe you can think about my little guy who’s afraid of clowns and mascots, including Chuck E. Cheese. Think about that for a second because this isn’t about you anymore. It’s about kids and families and communities.
You may be scarring my little guy for life. This clown thing is not okay.
My kids–all of our kids–deserve to be able to explore their neighbourhoods without fear. They deserve to not have to leave the house in the morning thinking they’ll be approached and/or intimidated by clowns–real or rumoured.
Schools should not have to go into lockdown over this. They should be places where only the sounds of children who are learning and at play are heard.
This is what is okay.
Now, parents, go reassure your children they are safe–police have our backs–and find out what your teens are up to, on social media and in the community. Everyone needs to work together to keep neighbourhoods safe.