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Clown sighting causes Overland Park middle school to adjust classes for the day

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JOHNSON COUNTY, Kan. -- An Overland Park middle school cancelled outdoor classes Thursday because students reported seeing someone dressed up as a clown on school property.

The Blue Valley School District called it a "low key situation" but it was important enough for the principal of Overland Trail Middle School to send out an alert to parents.

The notice said "a number of students reported seeing someone dressed as a clown on campus" during Physical Education (or P.E.) at about 8:30 a.m. Thursday. School officials said the kids did the right thing by telling their teacher, who brought the students inside. The school cancelled the remaining outdoor classes for the day and "secured all doors."

This was the statement the school sent to parents:

Overland Trail Middle families,

I want to give you a heads up on a situation that was first reported during PE that kids may be talking about today. A number of students reported seeing someone dressed as a clown on campus. The kids did the right thing and reported this sighting to their teacher who immediately brought the kids inside. The Overland Park Police and the district’s Safety and Security team have walked the area and will continue to investigate this report. As a precaution, there will be no outdoor classes for the rest of the school day and all doors have been secured. As you may know, the national trend of trying to scare unsuspecting people by dressing up as a clown has grown. While many of the sightings have been labeled a hoax, we will always put student safety first and follow through on any and all reports that make our kids feel unsafe. Please let me know if you have any questions.

The school did not go on lockdown and a district media representative said things went back to normal after about an hour.

"I can tell you when I got the email, my instant reaction as a parent was I need to go get my kid, but knowing where he goes to school and knowing they were taking the precautions necessary to keep him safe, I wasn't fearful for him and his safety at the time," parent Heather Townsend said.

Overland Park Police and the Blue Valley Schools Safety and Security team walked around the school and said Thursday they'd keep an eye on the area.