Waukesha police and school officials are taking precautions after hearing rumors of threats at Waukesha North and South high schools, even though no specific threats have been found.
Waukesha South Principal Timothy Joynt and Waukesha North Principal Jody Landish, in an email to parents Tuesday afternoon, said there are rumors on Facebook about "something bad happening" at the schools.
Joynt said South High School has locked all outside doors and the only way to enter the building is through the Roberta Street turnaround. A school employee will have to be called to allow parents and other visitors into the building, Joynt said.
At rumors have been circulating among the student body about a shooting that could take place on Friday, but the police department has not located a specific threat.
The Waukesha Police Department has sent out this information about the rumors that have been reported at North:
Since the late afternoon of Monday, December 17th, the Waukesha Police Department received phone calls from students, parents and others about a rumor circulating on Facebook of a possible shooting that may occur on Friday, December 21st at Waukesha North High School. At this point, the information stems from rumor and not a specific threat.
As always, the Waukesha Police Department takes every potential threat seriously; especially in light of recent events. The Waukesha Police Department is working closely with the schools to determine the source of the threat.
At this point, this information is being released simply to inform and not to alarm or cause a panic. The Waukesha School District and Police Department are working jointly to address the rumors as neighboring schools in the District have experienced a similar situation. This is most likely fueled by the ability to quickly communicate through the use of social networking sites.
Waukesha Police St. Jerry Habanek said the police department's fielded about 15 to 20 phone calls about the rumors. The school has also been receiving phone calls.
"Our school resource officer has been busy with it as well," Habanek said.
There will be an increased police presense at all three public high schools this week, including on Friday, according to Habanek.
"We are still investigating," Habanek said. "We have talked to a series of students regarding these threats. So far we have determined there is no specific threat."
Similar rumors have been spread among West and South students, and at Arowhead, according to Habanek.
"Social networking really doesn't have boundaries," Habanek said.
In emails to parents, Joynt and Landish said the district is taking the rumors seriously and has been working closely with local police.
"All our information tells us that these are false rumors that continue to gain speed through the use of social media," the email states. "As we continuously investigate between general and specific information, I will continue to team with the PD and district officials to make sure we continue our efforts to provide a safe and secure environment for all students and staff.