3 juveniles arrested after school shooting threat in Poynette

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POYNETTE, Wis. (WMTV) - The Poynette Police Department arrested three juveniles after a possible school shooting threat was made through social media.

Columbia County Sheriff's Department said the the two girls and boy that were arrested were taken to the Dane County Juvenile Detention Center. On Monday they will be transported back to Portage for a temporary physical custody hearing.

The School District of Poynette said in a Facebook post the threat came in at about noon on Saturday. It was shared with school administration, who contacted authorities.

The school district, Poynette Police Department and Columbia County Sheriff’s Office investigated the threat and interviewed students involved.

In a Facebook post, the Poynette Police Department said there is no threat to the community, students or to the Poynette campus.

The three juveniles face charges of Terroristic Threats, and were taken to a Juvenile Detention Center.

Because the suspects are juveniles, no other information about the shooting threat will be released, Poynette Police said.

In a statement on its Facebook page, the School District of Poynette said in part, “This unfortunate event is a teachable moment for our students and community… The safety of our school community is our number one priority. We want to assure the Poynette School community that students and staff are safe and at no time were they in any danger.”

Read the full post below:

Dear Poynette School Community,

At approximately noon on Saturday, May 11, 2019, student social media posts were shared with school administration that indicated a possible threat to Poynette Schools. Administration immediately contacted law enforcement and gathered the District’s threat assessment team to determine next steps and follow our internal protocols. With the school administration’s cooperation, Poynette Police and the Columbia County Sheriff’s Department conducted a thorough investigation and determined that there was no current or future threat from this incident. Law enforcement intervened with the students involved and, to our understanding, exercised their authority to further assure the elimination of any threat. At the request of law enforcement, the District didn’t share information or updates about this incident with our School community at that time to protect the investigation process. Chief Fischer of the Poynette Police Department assures me the incident is now considered over and there is no threat.

The School District of Poynette, Poynette Police Department, and Columbia County Sheriff’s Department take all claims very seriously. This unfortunate event is a teachable moment for our students and community. “Intent” cannot always be determined from a social media post, but it is vitally important to understand that “what we say matters.” We encourage all parents and guardians to monitor their children’s online activity including social media accounts. If you see something, please say something immediately.

The safety of our school community is our number one priority. We want to assure the Poynette School community that students and staff are safe and at no time were they in any danger. Events like this can affect students in different ways and may make them feel uncomfortable or uneasy. We’ll have additional staff on hand to offer support to students on Monday, and we’ve requested the presence of law enforcement on Monday morning for the reassuring effect. The day-to-day running of the district, including all scheduled activities, will proceed as normal.

I want to thank the Poynette Police Department and the Columbia County Sheriff’s Department for their swift action and ongoing partnership to keep kids and our community safe.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me at the Administration Office.

Thank you,
Matt Shappell
District Administrator
School District of Poynette

One junior at Poynette High School, Mikayla Fox, said this comes as a surprise in the Poynette community.

"Something that's definitely not expected, you don't hear about it everyday at Poynette," Fox said. "It's just really shocking because nothing like this usually happens here, especially like small town stuff, you don't usually hear that. Usually Poynette is a pretty safe place, so it's just something really unexpected."

This is a developing story. NBC15 News will update the post as more information comes in.