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, .

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. 

Carol October 04, 2012 at 03:49 PM
Thanks Greendale Citizen for your comments. Seems like we agree on not blaming the school district. I had 3 kids go through the Greendale school system.Also had one who left for school crying one morning cause she was made fun of for being an accelerated student. Was that okay? No, but she didn't threaten to blow up the school. We were always there for our kids, which lots of parents aren't nowdays. And I agree that most parents now are happy if their kids are not in their way. If this kids ;was bullied all his life (?), I'd like to know the reason. And like I said before, why didn't the parents transfer him to another school? I am involved in alot of things & do know what's going on, like someone said I didn't. So get real, people and get this kid some "professional" help. The Greendale teachers are good, and teach our kids and the help should be coming from home.
turfmonster October 04, 2012 at 04:00 PM
(Lotus185) - I'm not sure if you were addressing just me or everyone in general. Nonetheless, I'm not denying that there are problems in Greendale. Don't kid yourself though, these same problems exist everywhere else too. I'm also not denying that this young man was bullied. My whole thought process was this. Why didn't the parent(s) of this young man sit him down to try and find out who was doing what to him? If the ability to discus this in a parent/child relationship wasn't there, then this is a part of the problem. If that wasn't the case, then once the parent(s) of this young man gathered some names, they should have contacted these bullying kid's parents to confront them and explain what's going on. If these bullying parents didn't do anything, then it's just another example of what I'm saying about parental responsibility or lack there of. Don't make the schools do this. You said it yourself, they are supposed to be teaching the kids. That's how things use to be done back in the day but obviously society has evolved to a point where people don't want to take responsibility because it's too hard so they would rather blame and complain because it's easier and that's what everybody else does. Of course all we're doing is contributing to the snowball affect because everyone that reads about this will see that it’s easier to blame someone else. What's sad is that this includes our kids who are the future.
wiscoleeds October 04, 2012 at 04:38 PM
Who was the guidance counselor for this student? And what sort of consequences is this employee facing? Clearly the district should has some issues to address, however for anyone to think that Greendale is stands alone doesn't understand human nature. There isn't a school district or society on this earth that doesn't have to naturally deal with inequality and people's reaction and handling of this. The breakdown comes from the lack of individual accountability and that starts with parents, the student(s) and faculty. And I'm sure there are those that think throwing money at this issue is the path to a solution.
Lisa417 October 04, 2012 at 04:51 PM
Everyone involved here is at fault. Nicholas, his parents, the bullies, students, teachers, counselors, principle, vice principles and the police officer liaison for the school. Nicholas is being punished for his actions. Are the bullies? No one has mentioned what punishment the bullies will have if any. The names of the bullies don't need to be released but it would be nice for other students to see that bulling will not be tolerated.
turfmonster October 04, 2012 at 06:27 PM
A few comments: So are you implying that the school's guidance counselor should get reprimanded because the parents failed on their end? How do you figure? Also, you're implying that the counselor knew about what was going on. What if he or she didn't? You’re drawing conclusions from assumptions. I will agree with you on one thing though. Society is getting more complex by the minute (thanks to the onslaught of social media) and like you said, it will only get worse unless the theory behind accountability is restored.
turfmonster October 04, 2012 at 06:47 PM
Well of course everyone is to blame! We're on the last page of this book. If things would have been address on the first page, then this all would have been avoided and you wouldn't have this list! You are right though! The bullies are getting off on this one. Hummmm... I wonder if these bullies have parents or guardians? I would venture to say they do! Are these mature adults making it a point to explain and teach their children why bulling is wrong? Are they teaching their kids the necessary social and family values needed in life or are they too busy playing golf at the country club? Parental accountability baby... nuf said!
wiscoleeds October 04, 2012 at 07:12 PM
Turfmonster: Based on everything that has been reported if the counselor took all of this information in and did NOT attempt to assist this student then he/she is at fault and i would say failed in the job. If he/she did attempt to assist the student and work with the parents then I agree there is only so much responsibility the counselor is required take on. Ultimately the parents and child failed in this situation. That is where the buck should stop.
tgifreespeech October 04, 2012 at 07:54 PM
Absolutely - comments by turfmonster and Lotus are very one-sided. VERY. Unless they have first hand experience directly with this family, the bullies, the adminstration, the Guidance Counselor who "failed" and every nuance of this from start to finish, they should not tell anyone else they do not know what they are talking about. PARENTING is the cornerstone building block of this issue. Another poster said that the Teachers are rendered powerless by a bevy of Lawyers for the Parents who are litigious. And, that's a LOT of them. If this kid was indeed bullied for years, then that's a shame and it should be investigated and the appropriate people held accountable. But, to sit here, day after day and post one-sided comments that jump to conclusions, really do point to the real people that "don't know what they're talking about." Greendale is an excellent community in which to raise a family. But, people, we are raising wimps! We go to such great lengths to instill self-esteem, not hurt their widdle feewings and go out of our way NOT to teach a work ethic that it makes me want to puke. For the record, I was not bullied as a kid, nor did I do any bullying. When I grew up, if it was happening, we talked about it, solved the problem and moved on with our lives. We didn't keep it all bottled up, and then wonder why the "boom" happened. Sure, there were problem kids - there always will be. But unless the parents STAY involved, it will only get worse!
Lotus185 October 04, 2012 at 08:15 PM
tgif: I do have first hand experience with the bullies, the administration, AND the staff at the school. I went there last year. I know how it's run. I was highly involved at the school also. I know how bullying is dealt with. I've known for the now more than 4 years experience I have with the school. So yes, I can tell you that you have no idea what you're talking about. You can blame parents if you want, but the school is letting off bullies every single day. Hell, I was even let off of picking on kids. That's how I know that it's messed up. Thankfully I have grown over my years at that school to learn how messed up it is. So I put myself in his shoes, in his shoes, I know that there is no where to go do anything. If I go to admin, they'll just blow me off or tell me to get over it. If I go to my counselor, he'll talk to me about it and tell me how to cope with it. If I go to mom and dad, they tell me it can't be that bad and I'm over reacting just like the teachers. Complain a little more, they'll call the school and the school will tell them it happens every day. I know this FIRST HAND. So once again, yes, I can tell you that you are wrong and you have no idea what you're talking about. As for his "widdle feewings", he was bullied EVERY SINGLE DAY for 4 years. I would love to put you in a classroom for 4 years and have everyone spit gum at you, poke you, draw dicks on your important papers, and call you names. Then we'll see how "widdle" your "feewings" hurt.
turfmonster October 04, 2012 at 08:57 PM
(tgifreespeech): You're kidding me, right? Please point out where I said that someone didn't know what they are talking about? While you're at, explain how you think I'm one sided? All of my comments were to make a point about parents getting more involved and being held accountable for their children's actions and well being. In all honestly, it sounds like your post is pretty much addressing the same thing!
turfmonster October 04, 2012 at 09:10 PM
(wiscoleeds) - Hey! If the counselor in fact did know about this ahead of time then yes, I would agree that something should be done. But we don't really know all of the details at this point. Did the counselor reach out to the parents? Was there a plan in place and was it or wasn't it working? Did the counselor report everything like he or she was supposed to and someone else dropped the ball? These are things that we do not know. Like you said though, all of this should have really been addressed at the parent/child level. At the end of the day, believe it or not, parents do have the power to make changes in their child's life.
Jason Patzfahl October 04, 2012 at 11:09 PM
Sheriff Clarke seems like the latest bully to share his "opinion" about people he knows nothing about in Greendale. Maybe next year we should not allow him in our parade. And if he is there, maybe we should throw insults and small objects at him and see how he likes it.
Joana Briggs October 05, 2012 at 01:09 AM
I want to even challenge how this is being labeled by the Patch. Headline could just as easily be "Bullied student brought to communities attention by message on wall." I am pleased so many of you are considering this young man's experience and possible fate. Let's also consider the others who have not written on the wall. Do we have programs in place to recognize and assist? I am not in the schools but interact with youngsters at the library, parks etc. Some of them are down right mean to each other. When I give them my "grandma disapproves look" they usually stop or move away with their behavior. This tells me they have been given respect your elders values from some one but do not think they need to respect each other. The school board seems a likely place to address whether we are doing our job as a community.
Mark Santoyo October 05, 2012 at 01:39 AM
All I know is the Board of Education is missing in action. Anything they do now, is too sad, too late. We should be ashamed of them.
Mark Santoyo October 05, 2012 at 01:40 AM
Maybe we should convene a committee to study the matter and report back to our Village. Ya, That's the ticket to getting the board off the hook!
Jason Patzfahl October 05, 2012 at 02:40 AM
I agree with Lisa that the blame should be shared with the student who wrote the threat and the students who did the bullying to push him to this level - is anyone familiar with the novel/movie "Carrie" where the students voted the school misfit/freak Prom Queen? The bullies should be punished as well (by the school), but from what I understand the homecoming voting is anonymous. Maybe that should change for next year - at least allow nominations and allow nominees to reject being put on the final ballot. Authoring a liberal blog in ultra-conservative Greendale I empathize with young Mr. Olson, as I (and my family, sexuality, occupation, ect,) are constantly attacked by online bullies every time I post something... Stay strong Nicholas and remember, “Bullies are always cowards at heart..." ~ Anna Julia Cooper.
Carol October 05, 2012 at 02:55 PM
Wow, can't believe how upset people are with me. I'm sorry for this kid who was bullied and sorry that his name was released, cause now things might get worse no matter where he goes. I agree that this bullying is bad, but it's been going on for years in every district. I attended a "catholic" grade school and I remember kids getting "picked" on (which is what is was called back then), but now everytime you turn on TV or pick up the paper, all you read about is "bullying". And Greendale, our wonderful community has been in the news for this for almost 2 weeks. Sad, isn't it?? Raising a child now days is not easy. My 3 kids always had respect for everyone because we taught them that. They were spanked, which now is called abuse, but they all turned out great & are now raising families of their own. Parents are afraid to say "NO" to their kids and lots of them have no respect for anyone. And to blame the schools is wrong, it should start at home!! I've lived in Greendale since the late 60's and raised 3 great kids. Yah, bullying did go on back then, but was not blown out of proportion like it is today. Maybe if the parents would take more of an interest in what their kids are doing and try to stop this by teaching them respect, this would'nt be happening. Sorry everyone probably hates me now for saying what I have said, but it still reflects back to the parents ! Teach respect & don't be afraid to say "NO"!
Lisa417 October 05, 2012 at 04:27 PM
I don't totally blame the school. I think it is a combination of failures. Children in our schools have a right to feel safe in that environment. That is the school's responsibility and it is the reason there are rules set in place incase of bulling. The problem with your theory is you expect every parent to be socially and morally responsible adults. Not every child has a great parents to communicate with, the parents are possibly bullies themselves. It sounds like the bulling only happened at school and school sponsored events and those in charge knew there was a problem. Again it is the school's responsibility to keep a safe environment for everyone. I think they knew they let the ball drop on this one when they lessened the charge against Nicholas.
turfmonster October 05, 2012 at 06:02 PM
(Lisa417) - Just some comments. The bullying isn't just a school time thing. Thanks to Tweeter, Facebook, phone texting and all of the other social media avenues out there, bullying can go on 24-7-365. With these avenues, it makes it just that much easier to pick on people. In my opinion, I think this whole social media thing will eventually do more harm than good. As for the comment regarding parents, that is a problem, isn't it? (Carol) - BINGO!
Lisa417 October 05, 2012 at 06:44 PM
turf- In this case of bulling, everything I have read on the threads here on Patch and in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Nicholas was bullied at school. If you hear otherwise let me know. If people are harassed at work they contact HR or the police to handle it. If children are harassed at school, the school or police should handle it.
turfmonster October 05, 2012 at 08:04 PM
(Lisa417) - I didn't mean to come off like this didn't happen at school. I was more or less speaking in general and was just mentioning that it is very easy to bully someone through the social media outlets 24/7. How would I know that? I have a Twitter account and when you have an account, you can see "everything" that people post as long as they don't wall their account off which in this case it wasn't.
M Section Resident October 06, 2012 at 12:08 AM
As a resident of Greendale since 2000, I know the Greendale School District is a great district. What I see is storm clouds on the horizon with the district. We now have a central administration does not know what to do and a board of education that wanted this young man expelled - each of whom have been missing in action. Hear nothing we don't want to hear, speak nothing so we don't get in trouble, see nothing so we think everything is just Lake Wobegone in Greendale. All we know is what is posted on the Greendale Patch, the Talk Radio station reports, and TV News.
Steve Woodman October 06, 2012 at 01:48 AM
I have to wonder why the Greendale School Board is so quiet. Me thinks they are afraid of being held accountable by the electors. Good thing the elections are coming up in April. 3 out of 5 are up for election. We know of two people who are ready to run and haven't started looking for more...
Steve Woodman October 06, 2012 at 01:51 AM
My child is in the band and a girl's sports team this fall. We never see any board member or district supervisor there. We are lucky we have Mr. Lodes. He cares about kids. The board and administrators in the central office are tools of the school board.
Jason Patzfahl October 06, 2012 at 05:02 AM
That's just simply not true - The President of the School Board is VERY involved in the music department and every school-related event that I go to I see a member of the School Board there. And now that Jim Schutte is gone, there isn't one school board member that really needs to go - They all put the needs of the students first. But that doesn't mean that sometimes their lack of action is a little frustrating. The board does need to be more proactive than reactive, but let's not forget that our State Senator who represents Greendale was one of only three Senators who voted against the anti-bullying bill that ended up passing with flying colors.
Steve Woodman October 06, 2012 at 12:56 PM
If well known Patch writer Jason Patzfahl (Lefty to the extreme) says the Greendale School Board is good, well that says we have a board that needs to be checked out by the majority of Greendale parents and voters.
doug toader October 06, 2012 at 02:23 PM
Mr. Woodman I could not agree with you more!
Jason Patzfahl October 06, 2012 at 05:11 PM
I don't recall either Mr. Woodman or Mr. Toader running for the School Board or Village Trustee or speaking at any of the School Board meetings . . . but all of a sudden they are experts and policy wonks on education and anti-bullying! Numerous times Mr. Toader has commented on my blogs in a bullying fashion, so yeah - he might be an expert on bullying, but not anti-bullying.
N. Peske October 07, 2012 at 11:55 AM
Why would you assume he has a problem? Maybe he just is who he is, and it triggers the anxiety of kids around him who respond by taunting him--and making a game of it. These kids lack empathy. They're the ones with a problem. If he has social deficits, then the students around him should have been educated on what that is. Even kids who struggle to read social cues deserve respect. Changing schools may help the victim but it may not. Kids with friends tend to be less of a target, and a new school means starting out with no friends. Also, the bullies just find another victim to project their anxiety on to. It is a community and school problem that should have been addressed long ago. Unfortunately, kids often don't report each and every incident--and administrators don't find out until the behavior has been going on for months or years. My question is, why weren't the other kids speaking up for him? Where they present--but getting nowhere in stopping the pattern? Why? Why were the bullies' parents in the dark about all this? Was no one talking to their kids about the homecoming election, and what their vote was and why?
our rights November 14, 2012 at 04:21 PM
Your kidding right? According to lodes this kid wasn't bullied.


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