Quit clowning: School sorry for terrorizing Singapore with child-luring clowns

At left, a Pennywise the clown cosplayer, and Singapore’s own clown outside Temasek Primary School in Bedok, at right. Photos: Nong Vang, Tan Chuan-Jin/Facebook
At left, a Pennywise the clown cosplayer, and Singapore’s own clown outside Temasek Primary School in Bedok, at right. Photos: Nong Vang, Tan Chuan-Jin/Facebook

Singapore remained on high alert today over an infestation of predatory clowns preying on its children after an education center apologized.

Speech Academy Asia apologized for sending in people dressed as clowns to loiter outside primary schools and lure students to follow them, an idea so terrible that it’s difficult to imagine how it got so far. 

“We understand parents concerns for the safety and well being of their children. Please do allow us to apologise for the inconvenience caused,” the center replied to an online complaint today, adding that they are “currently in the midst of discussion to rectify” the clownery.

Police said today that several reports had been filed, though they did not name the education center being investigated. That didn’t stop people from naming Speech Academy Asia, which has several locations, as being behind the scourge of clowns that have been “coming around often.”

Not since 2016 has the unfunny terror of roving clowns gripped the internet.

In one photo that raised alarm online, a person in a red plaid shirt with a hat that looked leftover from a ‘90s rave slouched outside Bedok’s Temasek Primary School. 

Speech Academy Asia had not responded to messages seeking comment as of publication time.

“Whoever is doing what I assume to be some viral marketing nonsense, stop it!” Speaker of the Parliament Tan Chuan-Jin wrote online this morning. “Please remind your children, DO NOT follow them and to report to the police. It’s not amusing and just plain dangerous.”

The Tao Nan School at Marine Cres sent a letter warning parents of the clown menace and encouraging them to report any encounters to the authorities. 

“Police has alerted that there are persons dressed as clowns seen loitering around primary schools and requesting them to follow them. Please remind your child/ward not to be lured by any strangers and keep school informed or call police immediately if your child/ward spot any suspicious characters around the school premises,” its letter said.

After this story was published, Speech Academy Asia confirmed that the act was part of a marketing “roadshow” and the person pictured was an employee. No children were harmed, they said.

“We truly understand your concern for the safety of your children; hence we will be putting an immediate stop to our roadshows.”

Update: This story has been updated with a response from Speech Academy Asia.

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COVID-19: Singapore crests 1,000 daily cases for first time this year

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