FBI alerts sheriff’s office of video threat to Rosendale-Brandon School District
FOND DU LAC COUNTY, Wis. (WBAY) - There was increased law enforcement presence at Rosendale schools Monday after authorities became aware of a threatening video. Authorities learned of the threat, made about 3 weeks ago, when an intermediate student talked about it on social media.
The FBI intercepted the threat when it was shared on social media. The FBI notified the Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s Office early Monday morning. Rosendale-Brandon School District officials were also notified.
Deputies and the FBI identified the Rosendale Intermediate School student talking about the threat on social media, which led them to another student. That’s when authorities learned that other student made the threatening statement last month.
A letter to parents from Superintendent Wayne Weber emphasized the investigation showed “there was no imminent or specific threat to students or staff.” Weber said he requested a greater police presence Monday as a precaution (read the complete letter below).
“As a parent myself, I know the power social media has on children and adults alike. Please take time to remind our children that what is put on social media is never anonymous and can be interpreted by others in a variety of ways. Whether something is meant as a joke does not matter; talking about violence towards others is not appropriate,” Weber wrote.
The sheriff’s office reminds parents and students that any threats -- real or perceived -- should be reported to law enforcement immediately or to the Wisconsin Department of Justice’s Speak Up Speak Out Wisconsin website, speakup.widoj.gov. Don’t spread the threats on social media. The sheriff’s office says it takes all threats to student safety seriously and will investigate them to the fullest extent.
The sheriff’s office was assisted in its investigation by the Ripon Police Department and assisted at schools by an officer from the Rosendale Police Department.
Letter from the superintendent to Rosendale-Brandon district staff and families
Earlier this morning I was notified by the Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s Office of a post on social media that was being investigated by the FBI. Based on the content and timing of the post, there was no belief that students or staff were in imminent danger. However, we take all threats seriously. Therefore, in an abundance of caution, I asked for police presence at our schools while the matter was further investigated by the FBI, county law enforcement, and school officials.
Upon further investigation, it was further reinforced that there was no immediate or specific threat to students or staff. However, as stated earlier, all threats are taken seriously and will be addressed accordingly.
Parents, please talk with your children about the use of social media. As a parent myself, I know the power social media has on children and adults alike. Please take time to remind our children that what is put on social media is never anonymous and can be interpreted by others in a variety of ways. Whether something is meant as a joke does not matter; talking about violence towards others is not appropriate. Additionally, if students hear or read comments about violence, whether they feel it’s a joke or not, they should report what they know to a trusted adult.
Again, based on the joint investigation conducted by the FBI and county law enforcement, there was no imminent or specific threat to students or staff.
Wayne D. Weber
Rosendale-Brandon School District
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