(CBS) – The superintendent of Plainfield public schools is warning families and staff members that hoaxes about “creepy clowns” could surge with the release of a new horror movie this weekend.

Dr. Lane Abrell also seems to be warning that District 202 will not tolerate any creepy clown nonsense being perpetuated by local students.

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Bill Skarsgård as the evil clown Pennywise in the 2017 adaptation of “It.” (Warner Bros.)

“Please make sure your students understand that any behavior that causes a disruption to the school day can result in school discipline,” Abrell said in an email to District 202 families, also posted on Facebook. “This includes behavior out of school or posted on social media. We will not tolerate anything that may make our students and staff feel unsafe at school or work.”

The message coincides with the Friday release of “It,” an adaptation of a Stephen King novel in which the villain is “an evil clown,” the superintendent notes.

“Because of the movie’s timing in the weeks before Halloween, and media reports of people already dressing as ‘creepy clowns’ around the country (as they did this time last year), I strongly encourage you to be very cautious about rumors you hear or see on social media about ‘creepy clowns,’” Abrell said.

Creepy clown sightings and encounters seemed to spike in the past couple of years, and the 2 Investigators did a report in 2015 about a person dressed as a clown lingering after-hours at a Chicago cemetery.

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This weekend’s release of “It” is the movie adaptation of the 1986 King horror novel. The latest version is receiving mostly favorable reviews on the “RottenTomatoes” website.




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