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AUBURN, Mass. — A parent police say wore a clown mask and followed an Auburn school bus full of kids on Tuesday is facing charges.

The man whom police did not identify faces disorderly conduct and disturbing the peace charges after several children reported seeing him driving behind the school bus, even following students as they got off and began walking home. Some students were so afraid they hid under a nearby deck, police said.

Twelve-year-old Madison Bogar, a student at Auburn Middle School, said she and her friends were terrified as they watched the masked man driving his van behind the bus.

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“Everybody was shaking, screaming,” Madison, a seventh-grader, said. “Everybody was walking home nervous, and everybody was like, ‘Run! Go away from this guy, because he’s following us.'”

Matthew Cook, who is nine years old, wasn’t on that bus, but was scared to go to school the next day.

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“I felt like my stomach was twisting, and I almost threw up,” the fourth-grader said.

His mother, who spent hours trying to convince her son he is safe, is disappointed in the parent’s decision to scare her child and others.

“Some parent thought it was a good idea to put on a mask – not only put on a mask – but get in their car and drive by the school bus as all these kids were being dropped off,” Darcy Cook said. “It’s disheartening, it’s upsetting.”

Cook said she feels bad for the father who decided to take a joke way too far and is now facing the consequences.

“When children are not willing to go to sleep at night, when children are not willing to go to school the next day, when parents all over social media are completely freaked out…” Cook said, “it’s beyond a bad decision.”

Austin American-Statesman |