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August 2014

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No evidence found in Kettle Moraine High School bomb threat

Waukesha County Sheriff's Department continues investigating incident

Kettle Moraine School District - Some students were at Kettle Moraine High School on Monday, a scheduled day off school and workday for teachers, taking exams disrupted by last week's bomb threat at KMHS.

The Waukesha County Sheriff's Department continues to investigate the incident, reviewing video tapes from security cameras in the building and offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the person responsible for the threat.

Anyone with information is asked to call CrimeStoppers of Waukesha County at (888) 441-5505.

While parents supported the decision to cancel classes because of the threat, their major concern was the effect the disruption would have on student success with exams, according to Superintendent Pat Deklotz.

"We have reassured them this will not negatively impact their child's demonstration of proficiency," Deklotz emphasized.

The threat prompted KM officials to call off school on Thursday, the second day of semester exams. Classes were also canceled at the neighboring Wales Elementary School. After-school activities at both schools were canceled Wednesday and Thursday.

Classes resumed at KMHS and Wales Elementary School on Friday.

A message written on a wall in the high school specified a bomb threat to KMHS on Jan. 17. Upon learning about the threat on Jan. 16, high school staff investigated and determined there was no immediate threat. After-school activities on Wednesday evening were canceled to allow the Waukesha County and Milwaukee County sheriff's departments to conduct a sweep through the building, according to Superintendent Pat Deklotz. Canine units from the two departments searched the high school, and although no evidence was found during the sweep, classes and activities remained canceled for the following day.

Deklotz said the decision to cancel classes was not a reflection on the backlash the district received regarding the procedure followed after a tagging incident in March 2012.

"We began the investigation on Wednesday, and when we could not bring closure, we felt it was prudent to take the next steps to ensure the safety of students and staff because the threat was specific to Thursday, Jan. 17," explained Deklotz. "We felt closing the school was necessary because sweeping the school in advance would not prevent something from being brought into the building."

Deklotz explained the district is working with the Waukesha County Sheriff's Department on handling the incident since the Sheriff's Department has more experience than district officials in dealing with such situations.

"We did see this as a specific threat to the high school on a specific date," Dekoltz said.

Teachers were not allowed in either building Thursday, but KMHS teachers spent the day working from home to make accommodations for students to complete exams that were displaced by the threat.

Some Facebook and Twitter comments questioned the coincidental nature of a bomb threat during exam week, while others showed disbelief at the incident.

"So glad I don't go to Kettle Moraine High School anymore," one grad stated.

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