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Schools on Lockdown After Threatening Messages Posted on Clown Facebook Page

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Two southern Alabama schools were put on lockdown Friday because of threatening Facebook messages and emojis posted on the now-deleted page of a group called the ‘Flomo Klowns.’

The sinister Facebook messages said “It’s going down tonight,” followed by revolver emojis, and “I love kids.” A parent also contacted the Flomaton Police Department to say her child had been sent threatening messages by the group.

The entrances to Flomaton High School, which has around 400 students, and Flomaton Elementary School, which has about 300, were locked, as well as internal doors. Local officers and sheriff deputies secured the school grounds and searched the area, AL reports.

Officials have not yet ascertained whether the messages were a prank, but say they will still investigate them as a real threat unless evidence leads to something else, WGME reports.

Friday’s lockdown is the latest in a recent spate of clown sightings. Last month, there were multiple reports of sightings by the edge of a wooded area in South Carolina, including by children who said that several people dressed as clowns tried to lure them into the woods by displaying money.

However, authorities have said that at least two of these reports were fabricated and surveillance footage from the area where the children reported the clowns shows no such thing.

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Write to Kate Samuelson at kate.samuelson@time.com