Middleton High School student could face disorderly conduct charge after lockdown

No weapon was found on the student, nor was a weapon located on campus.
Published: Jan. 25, 2022 at 4:52 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 25, 2022 at 6:23 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Police are asking for a charge of disorderly conduct for a 15-year-old Middleton High School student following reports that he may have a gun spurred a lockdown of the building, as well as two nearby schools.

The Middleton Police Department states that the charge is based on statements allegedly made to a staff member, which led that employee to believe the student had a weapon. No weapon was found on the student, nor was a weapon located on campus. Middleton Captain Jeremy Geiszler says while the department thought the student was off campus, until the student was actually found, out of caution, they acted as if the student was in the building and responded accordingly.

The teen had left the high school campus for most of the time it was on lockdown, police said. Officers are investigating the student’s whereabouts during that time period. Authorities took him into custody without incident when he returned to the school.

Dane Co. Juvenile Court Administrator John Bauman confirmed that the teen was never booked into the Juvenile Reception Center and had been released into his mother. Bauman also noted that a social worker has been assigned to the case.

The Middleton-Cross Plains School District explained Tuesday that it stands by its decision to go into a lockdown the day before, saying it was the best decision to keep everyone safe.

“In situations such as these, it is important to fall back on our training–which is what our staff did. While it can be challenging to hear news of schools entering into a “threat,” “secure” or “hold” status, please understand these are measures we train for,” the MCPSD stated.

Resources were available at school Tuesday for students to help them process the events.

Area police and high school leaders have met to access the situation and the district stated that additional debriefings will take place in the coming days to ensure all security protocols were reviewed. The meetings will also serve for the district and officials to identify possible improvements to its process.

MCPSD is working with its director of technology to determine why a message intended for staff only, but was also sent out to some students and others, included the name of the student they were trying to locate. The message was sent using the Remind app, which is intended to deliver urgent messages to employees.

Anyone who has information or was a witness to this incident is asked to call the Middleton PD at 608-824-7300, Madison Area Crime Stoppers at 608-266-6014 or submit information to Crimestoppers’ website.

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