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Teen Guilty in Greendale Bomb Threat

High school senior charged with making the threat to stop homecoming pleaded guilty today.

High school senior Nicholas Olson admitted in court today that he wrote the threatening message in a bathroom that prompted school officials to move the homecoming dance to the middle school.  

The 17-year-old was charged with a misdemeanor, disorderly conduct, stemming from an incident last September in which he wrote a threat on a bathroom wall at Greendale High School.

He pleaded guilty Thursday in Milwaukee Circuit Court.

The threat, "3 DAYS TILL BOOM JK OR AM I?", was found on the wall of a bathroom stall Sept. 20. As a precaution the homecoming dance on Sept. 22 was moved to an alternate location in the middle school. In addition, the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s bomb-sniffing dogs conducted searches of the school campus.

During the ensuing investigation, court records state Olson told police he penned the threat in an attempt to disrupt homecoming activities 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."

When asked Thursday by Milwaukee Circuit Court Judge Daniel Konkol to describe the crime in his own words, Olson said, "I wrote a message in the bathroom."

"And that message could be clearly taken as threats of violence?" Konkol asked.

"Yes," Olson said.

Police originally recommended a felony charge against Olson, but the District Attorney's Office, .

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.

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 the extenuating circumstances which may have led to his conduct."

The incident has prompted discussion about bullying at Greendale High School. The school district has formed a task force to address the issue and a has also been formed.

As part of a plea agreement, prosecutors are recommending one year of probation for Olson with mental health counseling, community service with restitution and no contact with Greendale High School.

However, final sentencing is determined by the judge, who could sentence Olson up to the maximum for the charge: 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Olson will return to court Feb. 8 for sentencing.

Bren January 03, 2013 at 09:17 PM
This should have been dismissed. It's a shame that there is no accountability for the individuals who made his life so difficult.
Robby January 03, 2013 at 11:12 PM
Would be nice if the District Administrator or the board members who supervised this matter spoke up. What do you readers think?
CowDung January 04, 2013 at 03:56 PM
Not sure that no accountability for everyone is the way to go either. I think that the guilty verdict is appropriate, and would expect the judge to sentence according to the recommendations of the prosecutor rather than impose jail time.
John Waddell January 04, 2013 at 04:53 PM
What Olson did was wrong, but it was also wrong of adults to see that he was being picked on or made fun of for years. Bullying is a big part of our society. adults do it daily on face book too but in a more sophisticated way by arguing Politics and in a way of making fun of others for not thinking the same way they do. I was picked on in 7 & 8th grade and having cerebral palsy it was scary, but in high school it stopped. We have so much of our problems today and even gang mentality iis because people don't respect one another like we used too. All parents need to accept and show better examples of respect for one another. It is part of the job that goes along with responsible parenting.
KHD January 05, 2013 at 05:44 PM
Why no action on dismissing the principle, or some teachers???? How does a police officer know about the bullying for two years and nothing gets done at the school? Greendale should be hanging their heads. WHAT HAS BEEN DONE ?
Bren January 05, 2013 at 07:06 PM
Perhaps a few hours of community service. After all, what the kid physically did was write on a wall. It was the administrators who ignored his years of suffering who over-reacted. We have serious issues in the Greendale School District, I'm glad that some measures are finally being taken to address bullying. Hopefully positive change-agents will be elected to the school board as well.
Bren January 05, 2013 at 07:10 PM
Yes, it's ridiculous. This is conjecture, but it's possible that some of the bullying is done by students with influential (i.e. wealthy) parents and there is fear of repercussion. What's that saying? Apples don't fall far from the tree. Just a guess, but it's about the only reason other than apathy that I can think of that educated adults would stand by and let this type of thing happen.
Patroon January 05, 2013 at 07:40 PM
Bren, Must agree with your comments about electing positive change agents to the school board. The answer KHD is not dismissing the principal or some teachers. The Chief of the School District and board members are responsible. And they still never are heard from. Call your school board members and ask them what they have to say. Especially the ones who are running for election. Watch for the Greendale Patch town hall.
CowDung January 05, 2013 at 07:44 PM
I don't think it is possible to 'over-react' to a bomb threat. It it turned out to be real and lots of kids get hurt, you would be angry that they didn't take the threat seriously enough...
CowDung January 05, 2013 at 07:48 PM
If you are defending his actions because of the bullying, perhaps you need to think a bit about the school shootings that resulted from the kids being bullied. In 12 of 15 school shooting cases in the 1990s, the shooters had a history of being bullied. http://www.stopbullying.gov/at-risk/effects/index.html Bullied or not, their actions need to be taken seriously, or people can die.
KHD January 05, 2013 at 10:00 PM
Patroon, I disagree. Someone should be dismissed. Maybe the school board new nothing about it as it was kept within the building. Someone should be held accountable as an example that this will not be tolerated. Within that building , the buck stops at the principle.
Patroon January 05, 2013 at 10:11 PM
KHD. If you are going to call for the principal's firing. Spell the word right. Second, the school board knew about it. Rather than call the school board members, vote them out and get some who will work at communication with the people.
Greendale taxpayer January 05, 2013 at 10:45 PM
Have to agree with KHD, the responsibility lies with the principal and the police liason at the school. They were so well aware they got involved with the court, but never did anything about it when they were at the school. It was their job and they failed, and they should be held accountable. Steve Lodes makes well over $100,000 a year and he condones bullying--he has to go.
KHD January 05, 2013 at 11:46 PM
Papoon, you are probaly one of those coddling parents that teach their kids that there is no accountabilty if you do something wrong. It started in the school. They knew about and did nothing. Some heads should roll. They are also lucky no lawsuit has been filed. Maybe that is still to come.
Patroon January 06, 2013 at 12:02 AM
The comments also are a reply to a school board that is not talking and avoiding being in pubic except at the meetings they have to attend with their staff running cover. Their administrator talks only in press releases. So if KHD and Taxpayer are right, then why don't you hold the school board and their administrator to the fire and ask them to do what you think?
Live and Let Live January 06, 2013 at 12:05 AM
My son was bullied for years & I can tell you that Steve Lodes did NOT condone it. However, it seems most of the readers here just want to blame, and fire, our school officials for this problem that occurs everywhere in the U.S. Months ago, when the initial finger pointing was occuring here on the Patch, I tried to engage the readers in a constructive discussion regarding this issue. No one here was interested in discussing the complicated aspects that school officials face with bullying....they just want "heads to roll" in Greendale. As a result, I lost all respect for the type of individual that seems to bother posting on the Patch about bullying. Don't get me wrong, I am very disappointed by Tharp & our School Board's lack of public, and private, response on this issue. However, everyone here is kidding themselves if they think that this problem will be eliminated if we get rid of our current school administrators. I know for a fact that most of Greendale's administrators and School Board are passionate about providing a safe, quality environment for the students. So, instead of taking the easy way out, and blaming district administrators & officials, why don't you people have a CONSTRUCTIVE discussion on this issue? Sheeesh....
Patroon January 06, 2013 at 01:04 AM
Live and Let Live is right. Especially Tharp and the school board's lack of public and private response. I support Mr. Lodes and wonder why the school board won't even back up their best school administrator. This is the constructive discussion starting. So how doe we get the school board and Tharp to respond? Thoughts?
KHD January 06, 2013 at 04:05 AM
Sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeesh. If Lodes didn't condone it. How come it still went on?? Complicated issues my butt, If it happens, you put a stop to it. Real simple. Sheeesh. If people are held accountable, it sends a message. sheeeesh.
Bren January 06, 2013 at 04:17 AM
I don't disagree that the threats should be taken seriously. I do believe they should be considered on a case-by-case basis and in this case, this was a cry for help and not a threat. If anyone should be severely punished it should be the bullies and the enablers, students and adults. Doesn't seem as if that's going to happen, though.
N8 January 06, 2013 at 03:49 PM
Sounds like live and let live IS one of those people their defending
Gene January 08, 2013 at 06:26 PM
And I quote; "neither staff member believed that Nick was bullied" Steve Lodes
Gene January 10, 2013 at 03:56 PM
Just shows how out of touch staff and lodes are with the situation.

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