RACINE — An arrest has been made following a reported threat made Thursday against McKinley Middle School, 2340 Mohr Ave., according to Racine Police Sgt. Adam Malacara.
A juvenile has been taken into custody, Malacara said, and the threat to the school has been deemed not credible.
The school reopened Friday after being closed Thursday because of the threat. All after-school activities at McKinley were also canceled.
“The school was being closed as a precautionary measure,” Malacara said Thursday.
Stacy Tapp, chief of communications and community engagement Racine Unified School District, said no other district schools were affected.
Tapp also said added security would be put in place at the building during school hours Friday to help “families and staff feel safe.”
This is the second recent arrest made in connection with school threats. On Monday, a 15-year-old boy was taken into custody after reportedly making a threat to “shoot up” Union Grove High School, 3433 S. Colony Ave.
The suspect was quickly identified and taken into custody at the school. He was not in possession of any firearms at the time, sheriff’s officials said, and the threat did not appear credible.
The student is facing charges of making terroristic threats and disorderly conduct.
“As you can imagine, we take these situations very seriously,” Sheriff Christopher Schmaling said in a news release. “We are not taking any chances when it comes to the safety and security of the schools, children and faculty in Racine County.”
RPD investigates threats
According to a Racine Police Department news release, during the past two weeks police have investigated a series of threats of violence within various schools, the most recent being McKinley.
All complaints have been determined to be noncredible, but arrests were made in several of the incidents.
The release states, “In partnership with RUSD officials, local law enforcement officials will remain vigilant in maintaining and enhancing safety and security within the school district and throughout the community.”
Under the community policing philosophy and to eliminate these types of incidents in the future, police asked for the cooperation of parents, relatives, mentors and others to teach students about the consequences of making adolescents may consider harmless threats.
“We must therefore work together to create an environment in which such activity is not commonplace or otherwise acceptable,” the release stated.
The Police Department encourages community members to continue reporting suspicious activity and provide guidance and leadership to those who may be at risk of engaging in unproductive behavior.
According to the release, students should immediately report any threats, concerning statements or social media posts with school officials or law enforcement.
Unified has also stressed the seriousness of making threats of violence at or toward a school, in a Feb. 21 letter to families.
It reads in part, “It is very important to communicate to your children that the implications of making threats are significant. Not only does this have lasting impacts on the social-emotional well-being of students and staff, but there is an impact on the family and community.”