CROWLEY, Texas — In any other year, rumors of a KKK group abducting children might be dismissed as some internet troll’s twisted fantasy. But 2021 is already on pace to outdo the preceding year for bizarre macabre.

What You Need To Know

  • On Monday, Crowley ISD announced it would be increasing security around its schools.

  • Rumors that a KKK group would be abducting children of color in Crowley prompted the response.

  • Crowley ISD officials do not believe the threat is credible but are acting out of an abundance of caution.

  • The rumor originated on social media and has been passed around through various platforms and apps.

Over the weekend, social media pages and Next Door apps erupted with confusion and anxiety over swirling rumors in the city of Crowley. In a now-widely shared post on Facebook, a concerned mother wrote about a disturbing threat to children in the area:

“So my brother was approached at his job today by both a white and black co-worker who knows he has children,” the post reads. The co-workers warned the man about “a KKK group near Crowley that is reported to be nabbing any black and brown children walking to the high school. Apparently the group plans to hang them on Inauguration Day.”

The post spread throughout various social media platforms, and the Crowley ISD switchboards lit up.

On Monday, the district released a statement that didn’t directly address the rumors of a KKK group abducting children but did say the district and local police would be more visible in the area.

“Due to recent events of civil unrest in our nation, the upcoming presidential inauguration, and concerns spreading on social media, you will see an increased police presence in and around our schools in the days ahead,” the statement reads.

“This proactive decision for additional security is being made out of an abundance of caution,” the statement continues.

Anthony Kirchner, a spokesperson for Crowley ISD, told Spectrum News 1 that the district has consulted with its own police force, Crowley Police, Fort Worth Police, and the Tarrant County Sheriff’s office in the matter. Though he said the district does not see the threat as credible, the ISD is still taking every step necessary to ensure the safety of its students.

“We do not feel it's a credible threat,” he said. “But with where we are in today's climate, we still wanted to take it seriously. I think our community sees what happened last week at our nation's capitol and they don't know what's going to happen tomorrow.”

Kirchner said the school district realized that releasing the statement would draw more attention to the situation, but school officials wanted to acknowledge they were aware of the rumors and taking action.

Social media is igniting rumors of violence

These rumors arrive in the wake of various threats being levied against opponents of Donald Trump on niche social media apps like WeMe, TheDonald, and the now-deplatformed Parler. Since Twitter and Facebook began cracking down on political misinformation, the new social media sites have drawn users who were either banned from mainstream platforms or those who were critical of their censorship of right-wing political posts.

In the lead-up to the storming of the Capitol building on Jan. 6, right-wing agitators used these platforms to openly plan their attack and strategize.

In another widely shared social media post — a screenshot from Parler — a user who goes by the handle JuarezTx advocated for the kind of violence at the center of the rumors in Crowley.

“The way to do it — to teach the commie Marxist libs Democrats a lesson is — butcher there [sic] children, grandkids, great grandkids, grandmas, aunts, nieces, wives last,” the post read on the now-de-platformed app. “Skin them all. Slowly, in front of the commie men.

“Maybe it starts in one city, then another and another,” the post continues. “Only then will the commie traitors realized they f**ked up when they see their own lineage stop in front of their eyes. The sweet music of commie women shrieking in agony and pain, only drowned out by gargling on their own blood.”

Spectrum News 1 is still attempting to track down the source of these rumors, and we will update this article accordingly.