DALLAS, Ore. -- The clown craze that has now hit the Pacific Northwest is causing law enforcement around the state to send out warnings to those dressing as clowns, and those who want to do something about them.

The Dallas Police Department took to Facebook Tuesday after reports of a clown chasing a group of middle school students as they walked to school that morning.

Lt. Jerry Mott with Dallas police said it's not a crime for a person to dress up like a clown and wander the streets. But when they start scaring people, that may cross into criminal conduct.

Mott said the person who scared the children Tuesday morning could possibly face charges of disorderly conduct and menacing.

"It's my sense that someone is trying to be a practical joker," Mott said. But he fears that someone may actually end up getting hurt.

Social media discussions about the clown sightings include people talking about using their concealed carry permits if they encounter a clown themselves.

In Salem, the police department also took to Facebook Tuesday to address threats relating to clowns at the Salem-Keizer Public Schools.

"There are no known credible threats to our schools involving clowns," the post said, and encouraged people to be responsible and not spread rumors.

It also encouraged parents to monitor their children's social media activity.