Marysville police are not playing around with social media clown threats.

An Instagram post on Thursday threatened students and staff at Marysville and Yuba County area schools, prompting a temporary lockdown as detectives investigated the threat.

The Marysville Police Department (MPD) arrested a 12-year-old boy Friday, for making threats against the schools, MPD Chief Aaron Easton said.

“It’s not just a joke. Not only do you cause problems for other people, we’re worried about people’s safety,” Easton said.

With Halloween just around the corner – Easton hopes the scary clown fad is just a fad that will wear out before someone gets hurt.

“We want people to take their clown masks off,” Easton said. “Before the coroner winds up taking them off of someone just trying to play a joke.”

Adriana Weidman kept her child home from school after learning of the threats.

“It’s hard to try and explain to a three-year-old why he can’t go to school and what’s going on,” Weidman said.

The Yuba County sheriff's department increased its patrols Friday at schools as a precaution.

Recent months have seen an explosion in clown-related social media threats across the country, most of which have been deemed not credible by law enforcement.

Law enforcement in Merced, Elk Grove, and Fairfield have also reported recent incidents involving clowns.