Parents concerned after men in clown masks scare kids - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Parents concerned after men in clown masks scare kids

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CLEVELAND, TN (WRCB) -

Students at Blythe Bower Elementary in Cleveland won't be enjoying recess on the playground anytime soon after three teenagers admitted to deliberately scaring them for the past week by wearing creepy clown masks while holding a shovel.

Matthew Smith, 18, and Dalton Hutton, 20, say they're not breaking any laws, but it's causing plenty of problems.  

"We had girls who were scared," says principal Dr. Joel Barnes. "They said they saw men peeping through the bushes near the playground. One said he had a mask on."

The first scare happened Monday afternoon followed by a few more. One student told a teacher on Wednesday the man with the mask was also holding a shovel.

"They said they were peeking through the bushes again so the teacher took the kids inside," says Barnes. "I sent an email out saying let's keep classes inside till we find out what is going on."

Barnes says he's received several calls and emails from concerned parents. One parent posted online what her child saw on the playground.

Patricia Keith saw it and decided to pick up her seven-year-old Thursday afternoon.

"It scared me.  You want your child to be safe where ever they go and you do what you can to protect them. That is why I came here to today to get him," says Keith. "There are sick people in this world who are dangerous, that could have been someone trying to kill someone

Smith says he has no intent in hurting anyone and believes he can do whatever he wants on his own property. He showed us a sample of how he scared the fifth graders earlier in the week.

"One little girl looked down like this and said, 'what is that' and pointed. They all ran off screaming."

The school's principal says they're discussing putting up a privacy fence that would separate the homes close to the playground. They hope to have it up by the New Year.

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