The responses by law enforcement, aided by astute witnesses, managed to safeguard large student populations from physical harm, although the psychological effects may be long-lasting.
“For the citizens of Waukesha, I know this was a terrifying day for many students and parents,” Waukesha Mayor Shawn Reilly said during a Monday afternoon press conference. On that day, two incidents were reported in Waukesha. In the first incident, a student was shot and wounded by local police after the youth brought a gun into Waukesha South High School. In the second, a student reportedly had a gun that morning at Waukesha North High School; he fled and was arrested later that day without incident, authorities said.
Wisconsin’s latest school shooting occurred Tuesday morning in Oshkosh. A student at Oshkosh West High School brought a sharp-edged weapon and became embroiled in a confrontation with a school resource officer. Police said the confrontation led to the student being shot by the officer. During the course of the confrontation, the student managed to stab the officer.
The student and the officer were both injured during the confrontation and were taken to local hospitals. As of Tuesday midday, their conditions were not known.
Oshkosh West was kept on lockdown, and parents rushed to a staging area at a nearby middle school to pick up their children.
One Waukesha South teacher, writing after the Monday morning incident ended, said the following: “On my way out, a door slams and I jump. I have been having chest pains, shortness of breath, trouble breathing. I pick up dinner at the grocery store. I am appalled at the callousness of the clerks, ‘At least you got to go home early.’ On my way to the car, another loud bang, and another jump.”
State Rep. Robyn Vining, whose district straddles Milwaukee and Waukesha counties, said she is horrified by what she is seeing unfold.
“Guns are far too easily finding their way into the hands of children,” she said Tuesday morning. “Our children are losing faith that the adults in the room are going to do what it takes to end this epidemic.”
Aside from the unfolding situation Tuesday in Oshkosh, here are other incidents that have been recently reported at Wisconsin schools.
Waukesha South High School
Police in Waukesha said a 17-year-old Waukesha South High School student brought a gun to school and was later shot during a confrontation with police Monday morning.
Multiple reports online had indicated that three or four gunshots were heard inside the building. Students reportedly first thought the school’s active-shooter announcement was a drill. Teachers barricaded doors, and students began to huddle for safety.
Just after 11 a.m., Waukesha police sent out a message on Twitter saying the school building was safe and the incident was “isolated.” By 11:15 a.m. classes had been dismissed, and parents were picking up their children outside on school grounds.
Waukesha School District Superintendent Todd Gray called the incident “clearly a superintendent’s worst nightmare. We are grateful for response of the school resource officer, police and sheriff,” he said. “We will be reviewing the situation and working with students, staff and the police department to allow our students to resume learning tomorrow.”
Waukesha North High School
The same day that police shot a Waukesha South High School student who was armed in a classroom, officers headed off a second threat – this time at Waukesha North High School.
According to Waukesha police, a student reportedly had a gun at the school Monday afternoon and fled the school. Authorities caught up with him at a home in the city, where he was arrested. Waukesha North was locked down at 2 p.m.; by 2:10 p.m., the lockdown had been lifted, authorities said.
2 Incidents In Germantown
There was an increased police presence at two Germantown schools starting Tuesday morning after authorities learned of two school threats. According to district officials, gun threats were directed toward students and staff at Germantown High School and Kennedy Middle School.
According to a Facebook post, at just after 6 p.m. Monday, Germantown High School administrators learned of a potential gun threat to Germantown High School. It was followed by a reported threat to Kennedy Middle School at 8 p.m.
Germantown police officers were immediately contacted, and detectives launched investigations regarding both threats.
Classes were held Tuesday, according to district officials, although extra Germantown police officers and Washington County sheriff’s deputies were on school grounds.
Extra police and security officers were present Tuesday at Grafton High School. Authorities in Grafton monitored a social media threat that was posted online over the weekend. According to a JSOnline report, authorities took the social media post seriously but ultimately determined there was no threat to students. The post attempted to dissuade students from going to school on Tuesday, authorities said.
According to a bulletin posted by Scott Mantei, principal of Grafton High School, the student was spoken to, admitted sending the message and said it was made in a “joking manner.”
Students at Greenfield High School got an unexpected early start to their Thanksgiving break after district officials closed the school Nov. 26 over a report of a shooting threat.
Greenfield School District Superintendent Lisa Elliott issued a joint statement that day with Greenfield police stating that someone posted “irresponsible comments about a potential school shooting.”
Elliott said Greenfield police investigated the threat and determined it to be not credible. Closing Greenfield High School was precautionary, she said.
According to a WISN report, Greenfield police said a Greenfield High School student authored the threatening comments.