No evidence of threat found at Central HS Friday

Central High School will have extra deputies on campus Friday in the wake of a social media threat discovered Thursday.

Classes were to be held as normal on Friday, school officials said.

Deputies searched the school twice and found no evidence of an imminent danger, Sheriff David Beth, who was at the school this morning, told westofthei.com.t

The school sent out an automated call about the situation Thursday evening and a follow-up Friday morning about the results of the Sheriff’s Department search, said R. Scott Pierce, district administrator.

The call this morning said:

Good morning. This is Peter Haubrich, Asst. Principal at Central High School. This message is a follow up to the message sent that reported a threat of violence to the school. Sheriff’s Deputies were alerted at around 10 o’clock pm and been investigating various leads looking for the source of the social media postings. Central High School has been searched twice with no evidence of any threat. Deputies will be at the school all day to ensure student and staff safety. Thank you to Sheriff Beth who personally came to the school this morning to work with school administration. School will resume as normal. Thank you.

Central has a school resource officer from the Sheriff’s Department that is at the school each attendance day, but there will be extra deputies present Friday, Beth said.

Beth added no evidence has been found yet that the “CHS” referenced in the social media posting was the school in Paddock Lake.

UPDATE 8:16 a.m. — Here is a news release issued by the Sheriff’s Department:

The Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department is currently investigating a threat complaint at Central High School located at 24617 75th Street in Paddock Lake, WI. On October 18, 2018 at approximately 10:00 PM, an anonymous person using the social media outlet Snapchat posted a statement indicating “CHS School Shooting 10-19-18 Be Ready.” At the present time, the school is open for class and all activities. The Sheriff’s Department has posted extra personnel at the school. At this point there is no credible evidence to confirm the threat, or that Central High School in Kenosha County is even the school involved. When using Snapchat, a user is able to create a ‘post’ which disappears soon thereafter; making it hard to determine who the original sender is. This investigation is active and ongoing. Sheriff David Beth, the department, and the Central High School Administration and staff take all threats or potential threats extremely seriously to ensure the safety of all students and staff.

 

UPDATE about 8:45 a.m. — Central administration has decided to send students home due to a large number of absences, the Sheriff’s Department reports in a news release:

Central High School Administration has now made the determination to cancel classes due to a large number of excused absences. The Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department requests that anyone who receives any kind of post or message related to this incident to take a ‘screenshot’ and forward it to the Sheriff’s Department website at http://www.kenoshacounty.org/548/Sheriff

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UPDATE 9:08 a.m. — Sheriff Beth tells westofthei.com a second photo connected with this investigation has emerged and appears to be related to an incident in New Mexico from April at Cleavis High School.

UPDATE 6:18 p.m. — In the afternoon, the school issued the following statement from principal Lisa Albrecht:

I would like to share with you that everything at Central High School is OK. In addition, I would like to provide more detail to what occurred. At approximately 10:00 PM last night, Central’s principals and the school resource officer were alerted, through the Anonymous Alert App, about a picture being passed around on social media showing scribbled on a brick wall “CHS School Shooting 10-19-18 Be Ready.” At the same time, calls about these posts were also being made to Kenosha County Sheriff’s office. School officials and the sheriff’s department immediately began to investigate and this continued through the early morning hours. No evidence could be found to bring credibility to these posts. In fact, it was discovered that these posts were also being acted on by law enforcement and school officials in a variety of cities across the United States who had high schools with the same initials – CHS. After several hours of investigating, the Sheriff’s department told school officials they had no evidence of these posts being credible or even if they are about our school. It was determine to proceed with school, but with greater presence of law enforcement to assure the safety of students and staff. Messages were sent to parents about this situation. However, we know, even non credible threats can elicit fear and concern, but until school opened we didn’t know what this impact would be on student attendance. After reviewing the number of students not in school, we decided the situation was just too disruptive to continue school, so school was canceled students were released to go home at 9:30 AM. Central High School is thankful to Sheriff David Beth for being on site and coordinating the department’s excellent response to this situation. In closing, on Monday, we will be using this opportunity to tell students we are thankful for their actions in alerting us to this situation. On top of Anonymous Alert, principals and Deputy Wright received many emails from students.about this. Whether credible or not, they did the right thing and reported it. This is what we tell students, the safety of our school is as much as a responsibility for them as us. When they “see something”, they need to “say something”. This is what they did and we are thankful. Sincerely, Lisa Albrecht Principal

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