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April 2014

19

PHS bomb threat not credible

Authorities think they know who is behind a bomb threat at Pewaukee High School on Dec. 19.

Wednesday's bomb threat at Pewaukee High School was deemed not credible and the responsible individuals could now face "significant consequences at school and in the judicial system" because of the seriousness of the incident, according to the Pewaukee School District.

The Village of Pewaukee Police Department has referred four people to the Waukesha County District Attorney's Office's Juvenile Division.

Pewaukee High School and Asa Clark Middle School were evacuated after receiving a threat on Wednesday, Dec. 19. All evening activities were cancelled. The early dismissal sent the middle school students to the Horizon School gym and high school students to the Pewaukee Lake Elementary gym.

Tweets at the time called it a bomb threat; messages from Superintendent JoAnn Sternke later confirmed this. Village of Pewaukee Police Chief Edward Baumann said a note had been found, and the school was evacuated without incident.

Pewaukee District Superintendent JoAnn Sternke said that the concerns were specific to Pewaukee High School. No other schools in the district were the subject of any threat. The middle school was evacuated because of its proximity to the high school.

The district first sent an email to parents at about 3:25 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 19. In that message, Sternke wrote, "Student safety remains at all times our No. 1 priority, and although we do not view this threat as credible, we are taking all necessary precautions. We evacuated quickly and without incident.

"We want to compliment our PHS and ACMS students for their excellent behavior and cooperation. We are working directly with the Pewaukee Village Police to investigate this incident and ensure the security and safety of the schools. "

Later that day Sternke offered an update for parents saying the district's crisis management plan worked well, and students were in no danger at any point during the day. The message also said that the police department conducted a thorough search and determined that building is safe for the return of students.

Because of the threat, the district planned an increased police presence on campus for the remainder of the week, according to Sternke. While the schools were closed Thursday, a third and final message sent to parents made it clear that the decision was "due to impending snow forecasted at student dismissal time and was unrelated to (Wednesday's) incident."

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