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Superior Middle School student in police custody following school threat

Superior police say 12-year-old student showed a list of names to fellow classmate, indicating he intended to harm them

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Students walk through the halls in a high school.
In this Aug. 29, 2013 photo, students walk through the halls during an open house for incoming freshman and transfer students at a high school in Philadelphia. Matt Slocum/AP Photo

A 12-year-old middle school student in Superior is facing a felony charge of making terrorist threats after showing a classmate a list of other children he hoped to harm. The threat is the latest in a series of incidents around Wisconsin after the shooting that killed two teachers and 19 students in Uvalde, Texas, one week ago.

The Superior Middle School student is in police custody after school staff received a tip Tuesday morning through the state’s Speak Up, Speak Out reporting system, according to the Superior Police Department.

School staff immediately isolated the student, and Superior Police sent officers to the middle school.

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“The Superior Police Department also sent two Detectives to immediately begin an investigation into the threats. The investigation determined the student had shown another student a list of other SMS students’ names, and indicated to that student he intended to harm those listed students,” police said in a news release. “The student who made this threat admitted he did so in an attempt to scare the student he was showing the list to.”

The Superior Middle School student is also facing a disorderly conduct charge, which is a misdemeanor. The 12-year-old student is awaiting referral to Douglas County Health and Human Services.

Teens and children have often been arrested for making threats following past mass shootings around the country. Even statements made in jest often lead to felony charges of making a terrorist threat amid heightened fears of school shootings.

On Friday, Slinger schools went on lockdown after a student said they had a gun in a middle school hallway. Law enforcement searched the school about 30 miles northwest of Milwaukee and did not find any weapons.

The Superior School District just adopted the Speak Up, Speak Out reporting system earlier this year, which was first launched by the Wisconsin Department of Justice in 2020. The system offers a one-stop shop for confidentially reporting threats 24 hours a day and seven days a week. Tips reported through the platform are referred to schools and potentially law enforcement, depending on the details of what’s shared.

In its first year, the DOJ reported more than 200 schools received at least one tip through the platform, and the reporting system received nearly 1,600 contacts.

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