OSHKOSH, Wis. (WBAY) - A recent increase in reported school threats across the country, including the arrest on Wednesday of a 17-year-old boy in Menominee, MI, has the Oshkosh Area School District taking action. The district is reminding students, parents, and the community any threat, anytime is taken seriously.
It was about 11 months ago when Oshkosh North was locked down after a student's mom reported her son was acting erratically and she believed a weapon was missing from their home. The incident ended peacefully, but it's an example of how the district and local law enforcement take any school threat seriously.
The district's stance has not changed, but with instances of threats, both credible and non-credible, on the rise locally and nationally, school officials and local law enforcement are reiterating their commitment to school safety.
According to Superintendent, Dr. Vickie Cartwright, "Given the most current information and the level of safety that the district wants to ensure for our students, we are remaining proactive when it comes to the safety protocols and response."
In an effort to deter students from making a poor choice or decision, that could impact them negatively in the long run, the district is reminding students of the zero tolerance policy when it comes to making school threats.
"We want students to understand, when it comes to safety, there's no joking around. Any statement, comment, image or social media post that may be interpreted as a threat will be acted upon and will result in consequences," adds Cartwright.
While school officials are speaking directly with students about this policy and the consequences for making a threat, they're also sending communications home because they believe these discussions need to happen outside of the classroom as well.
Oshkosh Police Chief Dean Smith says, "We really do need the community to engage their kids and share with them it's not a good thing to joke around about making a threat about a school."
Because just like the threat is no joking matter, neither are the consequences like expulsion or facing criminal charges.