Bomb Threat Suspect Ordered to Have No Contact with GHS
Nicholas S. Olson, 17, remains free on a $250 signature bond while awaiting trial for disorderly conduct, after police say he wrote a bomb threat in a boys bathroom. Police say Olson was bullied, including being voted onto homecoming court as a prank.
The Greendale High School student accused of writing a bomb threat in a boys bathroom has been ordered to have no contact with the school.
Nicholas S. Olson, 17, is charged with disorderly conduct after police said he wrote "3 DAYS TILL BOOM JK OR AM I?" on the wall of a bathroom stall. He made his initial appearance Wednesday on the misdemeanor charge. The court entered a not guilty plea for Olson after he admitted writing the bomb threat.
Milwaukee County Circuit Court Commissioner Rosa M. Barillas assigned him a $250 signature bond during that appearance, which is the promise that he pay $250 if he violates the conditions set by the court.
One of those conditions is that he have no contact with the high school while the case is ongoing.
The charges against Olson were filed late Friday afternoon.
Police and district officials believe bullying by fellow high school students—including being voted onto homecoming court as a prank—were at least part of the motive in this situation. Police originally recommended a felony charge against Olson, but the District Attorney's Office, after consulting with Greendale administrators, chose to issue the misdemeanor instead.
The incident has prompted discussion about bullying at Greendale High School, which is ongoing in comments on our article about charges being filed against Olson. The Journal Sentinel wrote about the issue today, and Greendale Patch expects to have more tomorrow or Friday.
The bomb threat was discovered on Sept. 20, and someone from the Greendale High School administration called police at 2:23 p.m. to report the message.
When police arrived, Principal Steven Lodes took an officer to the bathroom, where they found the message written in blue ink on the wall of a bathroom stall. This was the Thursday of homecoming week, with the dance planned for Saturday night.
No activities scheduled that day were canceled, but the criminal complaint states administrators asked the Milwaukee County Bomb Squad to sweep the campus on Sept. 21 before students arrived. A second sweep was conducted Sept. 24, before classes began the next week. No explosive devices were found either time.
As police investigated, an anonymous tip led them to Olson. Police searched his locker and found notebooks and writings he appeared to have made, along with blue pens similar to the type used in the bathroom threat. The handwriting officers found in the locker appeared to closely match the writing on the wall, according to the criminal complaint.
Police spoke to Olson on Sept. 25, and say he admitted to writing the threat in the bathroom, because "he was upset and angry." Police also said "he did not have a plan to use any explosive device and further that he did not want to hurt anyone."
The officer knows Olson has been bullied, "teased and taunted by his classmates for many years," according to the criminal complaint, and that he had "just been voted onto the homecoming court as a 'joke' by other students." The officer said something similar happened during last school year's prom.
Police said Olson reported being teased all his life, and the investigating officer said he is "aware that the defendant is ostracized by the other students and appears very depressed due to the situation," according to the criminal complaint.
The complaint states a district representative told the assistant district attorney who prepared the complaint that they agreed "the defendant should not be charged with a felony but rather a misdemeanor due to to the extenuating circumstances which may have led to his conduct."
Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke said the wrong message is being sent by agreeing to lesser charges to school bomb threats, especially with the multiple false threats in Greendale this past year, according to Patch news partners Fox6Now.
“You want to teach them a lesson, charge them with the felony and they’ll have to deal with that the rest of their life,” Sheriff Clarke told Fox6Now.
Olson faces up to 90 days in jail and $1,000, if convicted. He will make his next appearance in court Oct. 11.