An 11-year-old girl was arrested at school last week after police say she brought a knife with her to protect herself from clowns.
As reports of creepy clowns menacing children continue to pop up across the South, the little girl in Athens is alleged to have armed herself as she got ready for her day at Burney-Harris-Lyons Middle School Friday.
The girl was taken to the principal's office for questioning after the knife was detected.
"She said that the reason she had the knife was for protection for her and her family because she had heard the stories about clowns jumping out of the woods and attacking children," according to an Athens-Clarke County police report.
Police reportedly contacted the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice and were instructed to release the girl to her mother on a charge of possession of a weapon on school grounds.
According to OnlineAthens, police that same day investigated a report that children were chased by clowns while leaving an area community center.
The investigation began after an area mother called 911 to report that children had told her they'd been chased by clowns. The children weren't interviewed.
The unsubstantiated incident is one of a slew of clown sightings reported in recent weeks.
The first of these reports came out of South Carolina, where one neighborhood made national headlines following reports from area kids of a group of menacing clowns that attempted to lure them into the woods near an apartment complex by waving large amounts of cash.
The incidents drew enough attention and caused so much public fear that Greenville Police Chief Ken Miller held a press conference on the matter, in which he warned that his officers will arrest and charge anyone dressed up as a clown.
"It's illegal, it's dangerous, it's inappropriate and it's creating community concern so it needs to stop," Miller said.
Last week, Bibb County sheriff’s deputies responded to a call early Tuesday of multiple people dressed up as clowns, chasing kids at a school bus stop.
The terrified children said the clowns wore full makeup and carried fake knives, along with what were described as flashlights or laser pointer-type devices.
It was also reported that some of the kids have been getting friend requests on Facebook from people dressed as clowns and messages saying "I will find you."
A day earlier, police in LaGrange, Georgia, reported receiving calls about "clowns in a van and in wooded areas trying to talk to children.