Meanwhile, classes on Tuesday at Emerald Ridge High and nearby Glacier View Junior High were canceled for a separate investigation into a threat, officials said. Police arrested a 16-year-old girl in connection with that case.
While investigating threats to students involving three separate schools on Tuesday, Puyallup police stressed just one school was connected to reports of menacing clowns.
Word of the threatening figures caused Rogers High School to go on a modified lockdown Tuesday afternoon, while district officials canceled classes at Emerald Ridge High and nearby Glacier View Junior High for a separate investigation.
In the latter, a 16-year-old girl was booked into Remann Hall Juvenile Detention Center on suspicion of felony harassment and threatening to bomb or injure, Puyallup police said. Both Emerald Ridge and Glacier View will resume classes on Wednesday. Police seek no other suspects in that incident.
Investigators believe the teen posted a threat to shoot up and bomb Emerald Ridge, where she is registered, on a European online public forum, Puyallup police said.
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Meanwhile, the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office investigated the threat at Rogers High and found clown masks with sinister designs on a trail near the school.
Local reports of suspicious clowns add to a recent nationwide hysteria over a string of reports involving costumed strangers trying to lure children into the woods, prowling backyards or standing menacingly on dark streets. Many of the reports are unsubstantiated.
The local threats targeted specific students at the high school, and not the student body in general, the Puyallup School District said. According to The News Tribune in Tacoma, multiple students reported seeing costumed figures in a wooded area, and one student said a clown had a knife.
Several students also reportedly received text messages around midnight Monday that a clown planned to kill students, the news outlet reported.
Officials issued the “modified lockdown” during lunchtime Tuesday out of caution, which meant students and staff were restricted to campus, and authorities boosted security, the school district said. No further details on the investigation were immediately available.
Two other local school districts Tuesday faced threats and disruption in connection with the creepy-clown mania.
In Federal Way, police and public-school officials are investigating social-media accounts of “creepy clowns” making death threats to specific students at Thomas Jefferson High School. That school remains open.
And at Tahoma High School in Covington, a student was arrested at gunpoint and is facing discipline after showing up for class Tuesday wearing a clown mask.
News of suspicious clowns spread quickly Tuesday, prompting other school districts, including Seattle, to issue notices to students and families about the scare. Tacoma School District officials urged students not to wear costumes to school.
According to The Associated Press, many of the creepy-clown reports nationwide turn out to be hoaxes, false rumors or misunderstandings — like the creepy clown in Virginia who turned out to be an autistic boy showing off his Halloween mask.
The Tacoma newspaper said at least three people reported seeing clowns last week under bridges and in wooded areas near South Hill and Graham, Pierce County.
Since Sept. 1, 17 clown sightings were reported in the county, the Tacoma news outlet said.