Volunteer high school soccer coach loses job over creepy clown photo

WPPROD

A volunteer coach for the St. Francis High School (Minnesota) junior varsity girl’s soccer team was stripped of his position after a clown costume gag found its way to social media.

Ben Hildre says he’s made it a tradition to dress up in a costume once a year at the end of a soccer season, and earlier this month he dressed up as a clown and posed for a picture on school grounds.

It was especially poor timing on Hildre’s part, as a clown craze – where people dress up as clowns with the apparent intent to scare the public – has been spreading across the world. A student posted the photo, which to the uninformed observer looks like the latest report of a menacing clown. Hildre was quickly informed that his services would no longer be needed.

Via the StarTribune:

“A group of varsity players got a laugh out of this year’s gag and asked for a picture of him peeping out from behind a garbage can in the mask. He thought it was in jest, but a firestorm erupted after one of the girls posted the image Wednesday with the caption, “Clown Sighting: St. Francis High School soccer fields.”

Some students who weren’t in on the joke got scared and reported what they perceived as a threatening message to school officials. By Friday afternoon — about 90 minutes before their next game — Hildre was let go.”

Hildre, who also serves as a basketball coach for St. Francis, has been working to get his job back, and many of his team members are behind him.