Local officials say they don’t take school threats lightly. From social media, notes, or rumors, there are strict procedures to determine the credibility of the threat.
“We’ve had social media threats at our building…each threat we investigate,” said David Oldenberg, Eau Claire Memorial High School Principal.
Oldenberg says a big part of these investigations is participation from students themselves.
“Students are very good about when they see something to say something and help us make our campus safe and secure,” he said.
Cale Bushman, Principal at Eau Claire North High School says another big piece of handling threats is having a strong relationship with law enforcement.
“One of the things we are fortunate to have in the Eau Claire School District is a school resource officer in the building…anytime we have anything that we deem to be concerning or alarming…we have a phenomenal relationship with the PD,” said Bushman.
Officials say one of the first steps to addressing a threat is determining if it’s credible.
So what’s considered a credible threat? Oldenberg says anything that is a threat to the building, to a staff member, to a student, or students. From cancelling classes to going on lockdown, decisions on what to do about a threat are decided on a case by case bases.
Superintendent Maryanne Hardebeck says safety grants provided by the state have made a big impact.
“That really helped us to update some of our systems in physical facilities that helped a great deal but it also gave us the opportunity to provide some professional development in terms of being able to access mental health needs of our students,” said Hardebeck.
Officials say they want students to feel safe physically and emotionally while at school. They also warn about the spread of rumors when a situation is underway. They suggest parents reach out to them directly for information to prevent the spread of information that is not true.