In One Week, Eight Campuses Across Wisconsin Face Threats of Violence
After two students were shot by police officers after bringing a weapon to school, other Wisconsin schools have been dealing with threats of their own.
- By Haley Samsel
- December 05, 2019
Within a week of each other, eight schools in Wisconsin have faced down threats of school shootings and violence, causing widespread fear and panic among families, teachers and staff.
Two teenagers at two different campuses were shot by police officers after bringing weapons into their schools. While a student in Waukesha was shot after bringing two pellet guns to school, the teen in Oshkosh was carrying a blade.
Since then, six other campuses have dealt with threats both real and fake to student safety, The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported. Classes were called off on Tuesday after a student in the small town of Sparta went missing, along with their parent’s firearm. Police later said that the cancellation was a precautionary measure and that the student had not stolen the gun.
There was never a “direct threat made toward the school, students or staff,” Lt. Booker Ferguson of the Sparta Police Department told local news outlet WKBT.
“There's increased scrutiny on these types of incidents," Ferguson said. "A lot of these cases are taken more seriously these days. The school has to look at them differently."
Police in Germantown, Wisconsin also investigated threats from a student that were later deemed not credible to two schools in the area. Classes were still held on Tuesday after the potential threat was reported Monday night, according to the Journal-Sentinel.
The post, made by a student last weekend, discouraged students from coming to school on Tuesday and was intended to be a joke, according to police. School and police officials planned to meet with the student and their parents at a location other than school district property, Germantown Superintendent Jeff Holmes wrote in a Facebook post on Tuesday.
“As an additional assurance, additional GPD Officers and Washington County Sheriff’s Deputies will be on our campuses for extra security,” Holmes wrote.
Administrators and police appeared to be taking extra precautions in the wake of the police-involved shooting in Waukesha, which took place after a student pointed a pellet gun at an officer.
Josh Kaul, the state attorney general, told the Journal-Sentinel on Tuesday that his department’s Office of School Safety will work with the Waukesha and Oshkosh school districts to ensure students have access to counseling and other services.
Kaul, a Democrat, added that he believes there is a need for more legislation restricting guns on campus.
"Kids who go to schools in Wisconsin and around the country today face a danger that was not present when I was a student in public schools in Wisconsin, which is a real concern about mass violence in schools," Kaul, 38, said. "We've got to take action to work to make those incidents less likely."