WALES — Every morning it seems another local school receives a potential threat of violence, and each time law enforcement has to determine whether or not it’s credible.
Kettle Moraine High School in Wales is one of many schools in the region that have received potential threats the past few days following Monday’s officer-involved shooting at Waukesha South High School.
Tuesday night, Kettle Moraine Superintendent Pat Deklotz was alerted to a perceived threat in her own district, a comment on a student’s YouTube page reading “8:50 a.m. December 4.”
“It did not make any reference to our district. It did not make any reference to a time zone or a location,” Deklotz said.
Deklotz said they immediately contacted the Waukesha County Sheriff’s Office to investigate.
With the help of state cybersecurity experts, investigators traced the comment to an IP address in Thailand.
They determined the comment not credible and the district informed parents through an email.
She said administrators are always on the lookout for risks after a high-profile event like the incident at Waukesha South.
“Various things have a copycat tendency that can follow. It doesn’t mean it will follow but people are on heightened alert,” Deklotz said.
This week Germantown police also found a possible threat of violence to its high school referencing a gun, not credible.
Captain Mike Snow said a student was overheard making a comment to the effect that they wondered what it would be like the next day if everyone disappeared.
“The statement was somewhat vague, but she took it as a threat,” Snow said.
Snow said it’s not easy to determine credibility.
“It’s case by case. It’s what the actual threats were, what the history of that student is. It’s getting the parents involved,” Snow said.
The problem, he said, is that kids don’t realize when they share information on social media it’s disseminated to a wide audience in a short time.
“It’s us getting to the point where there’s consequences for these actions,” Snow said. “Such that students are understanding exactly how serious these threats are.”
However, Snow feels that the message is slowly sinking in, at least when it comes to reporting concerns to police.