Students at Wauwatosa West High School were sent home around 10 a.m. Monday morning after a written threat was found inside the school, Superintendent Phil Ertl said.
“Any threat, we take very seriously,” he said.
Students were evacuated “for safety reasons” and moved next door to Eisenhower Elementary School, according to an email notification sent to parents by Wauwatosa West High School Principal Frank Calarco Monday morning.
In accordance with the Wauwatosa School District’s crisis communication plan, district administrators contacted the Wauwatosa Police Department and began investigating the threat immediately, according to a news release from the district.
Once all the students were evacuated, parents were notified they could pick up their students at the elementary school, 11600 W. Center St., according to the release.
All staff were also evacuated from the high school’s building, and parents were instructed to contact their children via email or cellphone.
A thorough search of the building was conducted and police will continue to investigate the threat, according to the release. All after school activities were canceled Monday, but classes were scheduled to resume Tuesday, March 15.
The incident marks the second time in the last week classes have been interrupted at the high school, 11400 W. Center St.
Ertl said parents were notified via phone calls or emails of the early release. He added it’s a “very distinct” possibility the school will need to make up instructional time at some point during the school year.
“We will be making up this day in the future,” an email from Calarco to parents said.
Wauwatosa West received a similar threat March 9 when a suspicious, “nonspecific” phone call was made to the school around 7:36 a.m. According to police, the caller made reference to blowing up the school.
During that incident, students and staff were moved to the school’s gymnasium while police — including the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Department — investigated the building. They found no credible threat and classes resumed around 10:15 a.m.
The school district planned to take additional security measures in response to the first threat, according to a letter sent to parents March 9 by Principal Frank Calarco.
After the first incident, the school offered a reward of up to $1,000 and an iPad for information that lead to the person who made the threat.
Wauwatosa is not the only area school district to deal with repeated incidents; a 16-year-old Milwaukee boy was arrested for two of three bomb threats made at West Allis Central High School last week.
Since 2012, there have been at least 30 threats made to schools in the suburban Milwaukee area.