Schools closed due to bomb threat

Barricades are up blocking the entrance and exit to Lake Mills High School late Wednesday afternoon after a bomb threat caused the evacuation of the school.

Schools in Lake Mills were evacuated late morning on Wednesday, Jan. 29, due to a bomb threat.

At 11:19 a.m. the office of the Lake Mills Area School District received a series of vague phone calls regarding a bomb threat using the phrases "your school" and "in 20 minutes." The threat was not made to a specific school within the district.

"The message provided a specific window in which the threat would be realized," according to a press release from Daniel Drescher, City of Lake Mills Public Information Officer.

In response to the phone call all the schools in the district were evacuated immediately. 

"All students and staff were moved to secure, off-site locations," the release said.

The Lake Mills Area School District, Lake Mills Police Department, Lake Mills Fire Department, Lake Mills Department of Public Works, FBI, ATF, UW-Whitewater, Jefferson County Sheriff's Office and other agencies responded with officers, bomb-sniffing K9s and other assistance to investigate the threat.

Police searched the district's buildings and school was back in session Thursday. 

"District staff worked throughout the day with local and regional authorities to support students in the off-site locations, investigate the situation, secure the buildings, and communicate with families," said District Administrator Pam Streich, Wednesday night.

Support for students was in place Thursday as was an extra police presence.  

"We had extra officers on this morning at all the schools and will be making a big presence at the schools today," said Lt. Alan Witte of the Lake Mills Police Department on Thursday morning.

These instances of school violence are what administrators, staff, teachers and students practice for. 

"Students did an outstanding job today listening to the adults just like we have practiced. Every administrator has commented that they are so proud of their students and staff for their cooperation, composure and patience today," Streich said.

Streich addressed the evacuation sites and thanked the officials at the sites.

"For those concerned about disclosing our evacuation sites, we did so with the support and permission of the Police Department. These sites can and will change depending on the emergency in future. We will continue to evaluate and modify our safety plans and procedures with our partners in law enforcement."

Police continue to investigate the threat, but at this time believe there is no active threat to the community.

"The investigation is still ongoing but it is progressing very well," Witte said. 

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