17-Year-Old Male Student Arrested for Bomb Threat

The teen faces felony charges in Milwaukee County Circuit Court.

A 17-year-old male student was arrested for making a bomb threat on the day of the Greendale High School Homecoming dance.

The message was found on a boys bathroom wall on September 20. As soon as the threat was reported, school administrators contacted the Greendale Police Department and began an investigation. Greendale detectives used school video surveillance, handwriting comparisons, and interviews to narrow down the suspects, according to a release from the Greendale Police Department.

The suspect, who is being held in custody, told police he penned the threat in an attempt to disrupt Homecoming activities.

As a precaution the Homecoming dance on September 22 was moved to an alternate location in the middle school at the last minute. In addition, the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s bomb sniffing dogs conducted multiple searches of the school campus.

The student will face the school district's usual and customary discipline process up to and including expulsion, according to a release from the district. The student will not be allowed to return to Greendale High School, until the situation is resolved.

The suspect is appearing in the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office on September 26 where he faces felony charges of bomb scare. The charge carries the possibility of a prison sentence.

Melissa Worth September 27, 2012 at 10:20 PM
Please do not lump all the kids in the district as bullies. That is unfair to the students who are decent human beings.
Bren September 27, 2012 at 10:26 PM
Seeing wrong behavior and not reporting it is enablement. Let's hope that the majority of the students are not passively participating in bullying by turning a blind eye.
Belle September 27, 2012 at 10:27 PM
When my child was bullied, and the school administration got very involved and helpful with it, they could not tell me anything about the bully's punishment or lack thereof because the bullies are students with extensive legal and privacy rights.
Jason Patzfahl September 27, 2012 at 11:29 PM
Wisconsin has a strong anti-bullying law (SB 154 - passed on Oct 20, 2009) which requires school boards to develop anti-bullying policies, including procedures for investigating and disciplining bullying activity . . . but our very own State Senator who "represents" us in Greendale, Mary Lazich was only one of three to vote against the bill which passed with broad bi-partisan support, 29-3. Senator Lazich did however manage to pass her "Abstinence-only sex-ed" bill . . . That's Senator Mary Lazich for you - always looking out for the best interest of the kiddos - NOT!
Jason Patzfahl September 27, 2012 at 11:30 PM
...and here is a link to the vote on that anti-bullying bill that Lazich votes AGAINST http://openstates.org/wi/votes/WIV00001675/ And an explanation of the bill itself - http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/news/91054679.html
Live and Let Live September 28, 2012 at 12:21 AM
Yes, we had the same experience. However, I did point out to the administration that I found it ironic that many, many students witnessed the daily humiliation that my son experienced, yet they were unable to witness ANY consequences that the bully received. I'm not saying that the bully should have their legal rights withdrawn, I'm just saying that it's another aspect of the situation that seems unfair from the victim's point of view. After all, if the student's don't see bullies receiving any consequences, it sends them a strong message that bullying is acceptable. On top of that, since my son was never allowed to be informed about the consequences the bully received, it added to his sense of hopelessness. As the years went by, he became less & less willing to inform ANYONE, including us, of what he was experiencing each day. Once again, no easy answers here.
Barney September 28, 2012 at 01:18 AM
Question the other students at the high school, most will tell you how he was tormented. He was voted prom king and now homecoming king, as a joke! After the first time, you would think it would have been stopped. A student told me that a football player used his last name to rhyme mean words concerning his weight.
Cracks mcgee September 28, 2012 at 11:06 AM
I love you buddy!!! You best not get no jail time!!!
Cracks mcgee September 28, 2012 at 11:12 AM
I personally see him almost every day, well until all this. A lot of people including me and my friends love him to death. This is seriously from bullying, I know him enough that he's really affected by it even tho he just laughs it off. He shouldn't go to that school ever again because I've backed him up enough times to know people ruined his self esteem. He constantly asks for help and I try my best to. I wish I tried harder for him so things wouldnt end up like this. Without him there will be a lot less joy in mine and plenty of people's life's that I know. Remember bro I love you and I hope I get to take you out tomorrow to get away from this just for a lil while
Robert Mueller September 28, 2012 at 11:49 AM
Parents contact your school board and district admin. One board member was saying this week the kid is expelled. They need to do their job and stand up and tell us what they are going to do.
Danny Noonan September 28, 2012 at 01:54 PM
School board members must remain impartial on the subject. Any due process hearing (an expulsion hearing being one) requires an opportunity to present before an impartial body. If a board member has publicly prejudged the matter, then they must recluse themselves, or risk having the expulsion overturned for bias.
Andy September 28, 2012 at 02:43 PM
If this is true, it just confirms the fact that Greendale Schools aren't doing their best when it comes to bullying. The kid deserves to be punished. (Community Service possibly?) But he doesn't deserve to be expelled under the circumstances. This has been going on for much too long. Greendale needs to put it to a stop NOW.
Concerned Citizen September 28, 2012 at 04:02 PM
I don't know this boy or the family, but I hope the family has retained a lawyer who understands the law relating to expulsion. Once a child is expelled, the parents must continue to provide the child with an education (in another district, a private school, or by home schooling), but no district in Wisconsin is required to accept the child. Some districts will agree to drop the expulsion if the child withdraws from school, which often turns out to be the family's best option since it is very hard to defend an expulsion case. A lawyer could be helpful, however, in presenting evidence of bullying, etc., which may have some affect on the penalty. I also hope that the district does more to educate students and families about the consequences that flow from these sorts of threats. In a post-Columbine society, it's not okay to make a bomb threat or to otherwise threaten the health and safety of the students, and kids who do so are very likely to face both explusion and criminal charges. Perhaps if the district did more (without violating privacy laws) to show the community what happens in cases like these, we wouldn't have had to deal with two bomb threats in less than a year and the costs and circumstances that result.
Gene September 28, 2012 at 11:57 PM
This boy’s family truly thanks everyone for your comments and support. They really do appreciate it during this time. This kid has been bullied a long time. Dealt with it as best he could. He didn’t share much of this with his parents, at least not in high school, maybe from fear of retaliation from the one's doing the bullying. Everybody can only take so much before they react in one form or another. What I don’t understand why the school NEVER contacted his parents regarding the bullying. They had to have known it was going on to some extent. I can appreciate the zero tolerance for certain behaviors, why not for bullying. I have heard that even MPS has a zero tolerance for bullying. Of course I do not condone his actions in regards to the threat, it was wrong and there are consequences. However we need to treat the root of the problem, the bully's. Who are these kids on the prom and homecoming council and who do they answer to. They knew what was going on in this case and chose to go along with it, how repulsive is that? I do know the family has retained counsel for his legal troubles. Now his school situation is a separate matter. This family is in abit of a wrestling match with what to do there. Withdraw him and pony up tuition for a private school or pony up attorney fees to fight the upcoming expulsion. Either way he is going to pay a heavy price for his actions that are clearly the result of the bullying.
MacyFray September 29, 2012 at 12:53 PM
Everyone of those kids who tallied the votes for homecoming king, etc. should be punished for not reporting this to the school administration. I'm assuming they were involved as well. I have a daughter at the high school and she tells me all the time about how bad things are with exclusion of kids in groups, etc. Mean girls, "populars", etc. Administration doesn't do anything and all the "pride" "care" stuff just doesn't work. Bullies always get more rights than those bullied. "Populars" always get more rights at school and things that get a look the other way attitude. Just look at how some of them dress. There is no dress code at the high school for them. My daughter has asked for us to move so she can go to another school, how sad. If the current administration at the high school can't seem to get it right then maybe a new administration is necessary. Clean up the schools and don't let the bullies rule.
Greendale Citizen September 29, 2012 at 01:04 PM
I agree that the bullying program that starts in the grade schools needs to be continued and even more so into mide school and high school. That being said, this kid who made the threat needs to take some responsibility for his actions. The kids are all told what to do if being bullied. Instead of making a bomb threat, how about simply going to someone and saying, "I'm not going to homecoming, I don't want to be on court." No one would have forced him to be on either the prom or homecoming court. It's not a rule that you have to be on it if you are voted to it. He was at the school during the last bomb threat, he knew was consequences lay ahead if him. The boys of Columnbine were apparently bullied too. I don't recall people feeling sorry for them, I remember people being angry for what they had done.
J. B. Schmidt September 29, 2012 at 02:13 PM
@Jason How did this law, that apparently needed to be passed, help this kid?
Live and Let Live September 29, 2012 at 03:02 PM
It's pretty clear, based on the comments here, that everyone agrees that there should be consequences for this boy. However, the majority posting here seem to feel that, in this case, the extenuating circumstances also need to be considered when deciding those consequences.
Carol September 29, 2012 at 03:35 PM
Sorry he's been bullied, but this is no excuse for making a threat! Maybe the parents should take some interest in him & get some professional help cause it sounds like he needs it. Next time might not just be a threat but he might carry it out and then it'll be too late. Too many kids have parents that don't show an interest or realize there's a problem.
Bren September 29, 2012 at 10:37 PM
I hope the family will consider legal action against the school district. Other students seem to be impacted by what could be a hostile, discriminatory environment as well, going by comments here.
Gene September 30, 2012 at 05:29 PM
While this young man IS going to get what’s coming to him for his actions he also is getting the help he needs to resolve issues caused by the nonstop harassment by the "guilty" students at GHS. The prom and homecoming incidents are just 2 events in a long list that span his entire time at GHS. This young man is asking forgiveness from everyone affected by his actions. Please anybody with a similar story; forward it to the school board, if we can help another kid..........
Help our Kids2 September 30, 2012 at 05:56 PM
The problem is that at least one school board member has already decreed he want the kid expelled. Help our Kids is right. Forward your concerns to the school board and make him eat his words.
Help our Kids2 September 30, 2012 at 10:32 PM
Maybe we should elect a new school board. I just found out today at the band program that 3 out of the 5 school board members including the one who wants the kid expelled are up for election in April. He was there and was avoiding talking to parents.
Smart Girl October 01, 2012 at 01:50 AM
There are a large number of comments and no one from the Greendale Public Schools have answered. We have no idea what is going on other then knowing a student may get hung out to dry. I hope the parents of this school system wake up and see how they are getting fooled.
Janine Anderson (Editor) October 01, 2012 at 11:59 AM
We learned early this morning that the student believed responsible for the threat is being charged with a misdemeanor. We'll have more on the story soon. Find what we've got here: http://greendale.patch.com/articles/charges-filed-against-ghs-threat-suspect. This is also the story we'll update as soon as we have more—which should be soon.
Jenni Knutson October 02, 2012 at 06:37 PM
Your comment that students at GHS make you life a living hell if you are not popular, gorgeous, or athletic is so true. I was a student there who graduated in 2000. This problem was there back then. As someone who didn't come into the Greendale school disctrict until high school I was an outcast. The cliques were aready formed, there was no tolerance for you if you weren't in their groups from the elementary school years. As much as I tried to make friends and belong I didn't. High school was four years of living hell for me. I am a successful adult but the years I spent in that high school scarred me and I will never forget the way I was treated. Greendale, open your eyes to a problem that has obviously gotten worse over time. Even though your reputation for education is excellent I would never subject my child to one of your schools because the problems that have developed socially over the years have never been addressed or fixed. As for that young man who felt he needed to so something so strong to be heard I hope that he gets the help that he needs and not the punishment that the law dictates without knowing what this child has endured....because even though he is 17 he is still a child and needs to be nutrured and loved- which he obviously has not felt in many years from his peers and those that are supposed to be helping him grow into a young, stong member of society. Even when parents speak up they are often shut down, leaving thier hands tied :(
Kathy Krause October 03, 2012 at 12:43 AM
I totally agree, Andy - I know he was constantly bullied - my daughter told me all about it - also, my daughter was picked on constantly in her freshman year and Greendale High School really didn't take it seriously when I approached them about it!!!!
anne taylor October 03, 2012 at 01:45 AM
I am a mother of child that was bullied at GHS. And I am here to tell that the administration did NOTHING for my son. My son was ran into the lockers (he had bruises on his upper arms) soda was poured on his backpack and they were always calling him names. My son was not the most athletic and he was reminded of that every day. Certain football players would make his life a living hell during lunch and they were applauded for their abilities on the field every Friday night. I really feel that maybe if the administration and the superintent did something back then maybe just maybe that boy would not have gone to such extremes. The adminstarion brought this on themselves and I hope someday they feel the pain all these kids and their parents felt.
Chris Snieg October 06, 2012 at 02:39 AM
Chris Snieg I'm a mother of two grown adult childlren who went through the Greendale schools and graduated in '98 and '01. One child was very, very popular and the other felt excluded and hated the social environment at Greendale schools, although she was an excellent student. At one point she wanted to go to Martin Luther, and I wouldn't hear of it. I regret that decision to this day. As for the current situation, my prayer is that the bullying incidents will be dealt with at the School District. However, if that doesn't bring some action, the Greendale Police Department should be contacted, especially when there are physical injuries. The District does get serious about police reports involving its students. I really feel sad for all the bullied students, and perhaps this incident will rev up a no tolerance for bullying policy in Greendale School District.
RG WI October 06, 2012 at 11:02 PM
Carol, you are utterly clueless about his parents. Your comment is downright ignorant & of little class. Don't open your "mouth" just to stick your foot in it!


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