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District takes threat seriously

A 17-year old Sturgeon Bay High School student is in jail after allegedly making a non-specific threat on Wednesday. The incident comes during a week where two shootings occurred at high schools in Waukesha and Oshkosh and threats were made at others across the state. According to Sturgeon Bay Police Captain Dan Brinkman, the high school’s liaison officer alerted the department to the threat and followed up by identifying and arresting the student. Brinkman says any type of threat is taken very seriously, no matter what the climate has been this week at Wisconsin high schools.

Sturgeon Bay School District Superintendent Dan Tjernagel says it is hard to pull positives out of a situation like this, but he was happy with the way students, parents, and local law enforcement responded to the situation.

The 17-year-old high school student, who has not been identified, is currently awaiting charges from the District Attorney’s office at Door County’s jail.



Letter emailed to parents

Wednesday, December 4, 2019 (Approximately 1:25 P.M.)


Sturgeon Bay Parents:


This morning school staff and law enforcement were notified about an alarming social media post made by a current Sturgeon Bay High School student.  The student has been under the direct supervision of the high school office and School Resource Officer throughout much of the day during the investigation.  The Sturgeon Bay Police Department has been on campus and involved in the investigation as well.  The student left campus with officers from the police department shortly after 1:00 P.M.


From what we can tell so far today, the student has been cooperative with the investigation, does not appear to have access to firearms, and appears to realize the major mistake he has made which will have a wide variety of consequences.  The student’s parents have been cooperative with this very difficult situation as well.


A public address announcement was made to the high school student body and staff immediately prior to the lunch period so they could be updated about the situation and knew they were safe since the student was under supervision in the office.  We also thanked the many students who had come forward to say something to school or law enforcement personnel so the situation could be investigated.  This is exactly what we need to do. 


The high school public address announcement also acknowledged that some terrible things have happened in places like Waukesha and Oshkosh this week.  As a result, if they or their parents wanted to have them excused for the afternoon, that would certainly be OK and we asked that they communicate with the office as typically would be the case.


Thanks go not only to students, but also to the many parents who called to make sure we were aware of the situation.  This is definitely one of the positives we can take away from a difficult situation like this. 


We also fully realize that people would like to see communication sooner rather than later.  We understand and are doing the best we can to first take care of the things that need to be taken care of to ensure safety—then communicate as we are able to do so with at least some level of detail.  Nothing is more important than our children and we all understand that. 


Thank you for your cooperation and assistance not only with this situation, but any future situations.  The “If you see something, hear something, or witness something, say something” approach absolutely makes a difference. 

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