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Southern Door Schools sees heightened security following threatening emails

Southern Door County School District
Posted at 11:56 AM, May 01, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-01 23:16:50-04

SOUTHERN DOOR COUNTY (NBC 26) — Schools within the Southern Door County School District saw heightened security on Monday following the report of a threatening email being sent to students.

In a release sent to families, the school district stated they were informed at 6 p.m. Sunday, April 30, of a threatening email that was being shared with some high school students. The email did not originate from a Southern Door email account.

A short time after the email was discovered, the Door County Sheriff's Department was notified of the threat, along with students that received the threatening email. The Door County Sheriff's Department provided additional security for the school day on Monday, May 1 as a precautionary measure.

In response, the Southern Door County School District wrote,

The Southern Door County School District takes any threat seriously; student safety is our top priority. The district, along with authorities, will be investigating the source of the threatening email. This information concerns all involved, and we encourage you to talk to your children about the importance of reporting any concerning behavior.

Monday afternoon, the district released another letter to parents in which they stated that investigators who specialize in Internet crimes are investigating the source of the email and they hope to have a quick resolution. 

The district said school administrators have met with the students directly involved and stated quote “we are steadfast in our commitment to concluding the year positively and are asking for your patience as this case in investigated.”

The letter also said the Door County Sheriff's Department will provide additional security again on Tuesday during the school day.

“Anytime we receive a threat, we treat it as a viable, credible threat until proven otherwise," said Chief Deputy Patrick Mccarty in an interview with NBC 26. "We’re airing on the side of caution as proceed with this investigation."

This threat follows news that a "hit list" was found at Sturgeon Bay Schools last week. We spoke with Superintendent of Sturgeon Bay Schools Dan Tjernagel, who says a staff member found the list on a Post-it note.

"A staff member picked it up, saw what was on that Post-it note, and immediately went to the office to make the principal and our school resource officer aware of it," Tjernagel said.

Sturgeon Bay notice to families

Tjernagel says it’s a good example of the district’s “see something, say something” policy - which encourages students, parents, and staff to immediately report anything that could indicate a threat to schools.

"Whether it’s the situation that occurred in Southern Door where a parent brought that to light right away, or our situation from Friday, really that’s exactly what we want people to do when these unfortunate situations come up," Tjernagel said.