DELAVAN (WITI) -- A Delavan High School student was taken into custody Friday morning, October 17th after he allegedly posted the message "I’m going to shoot up the school” on a social media app called Yik Yak. The app allows individuals to send messages anonymously.
The threat did not identify a specific school, but the post was tracked to the East Troy area. As a result, there was an increased police presence at East Troy schools on Friday.
The East Troy School District says they were notified Thursday night, October 16th by local police of a potential threat that was made on the social media app.
Police inside East Troy School buildings patrolled the hallways, plus exits and entrances.
"There were cops in yards, they surrounded everywhere, they were checking people," said senior, Brianna Mueller.
Police believe the threat was made by a male student who goes to Delavan High School, but the East Troy Police Department picked up on it. The threat did not identify a specific district or school, but the post was tracked to the area -- prompting East Troy to notify parents.
"I think it's wrong to mess around with stuff like that because of all the recent shootings that have been going on," said Mueller.
Yik Yak allows anonymous posts to be shared with nearby users. It's an app police say has been making the rounds throughout southeast Wisconsin, and has been a problem at other schools throughout the country.
"In order to sign up, you have to put your phone number and that is how they found out it was in the radius of East Troy," said senior, Caitlin Dewart.
Delavan High School was on lock down for a short time while police took the student accused of posting the threat into custody, along with his phone.
The Superintendent for the East Troy School District says there is a lesson for parents -- show your kids how to be responsible with social media.
"Unfortunately, this is a perfect example of how it is misused, and it can affect so many people," said East Troy Superintendent, Dr. Chris Hibner.
The East Troy School District has blocked Yik Yak on their network, but students can still access it on their phones.
The school district heard about the threat late Thursday night, and allowed police time to investigate it. An alert was sent to parents Friday morning via phone call, email and text message.
The district sent the following letter to parents after the threat was discovered.
Late last night we received notification from our local police department of a potential threat. The headquarters of "Yik Yak", a social media app, reported the following post: “I’m going to shoot up the school”.
While the threat did not identify the district, or a specific school, the post was tracked to our localized area.
The school district is working with the law enforcement to both investigate the issue and have greater police presence at all schools.
If you choose not to send your child to school today, please contact your school attendance office. Absences will be excused.
Yik Yak is a mobile app that is making the rounds throughout Southeast Wisconsin. This has become a problem at other schools across the country.
Yak allows individuals to send text messages anonymously. These messages are received by all of the anonymous users within a given location radius from the users phone.
- Posts can be especially vicious and hurtful since there is no way to trace their source and it can be disseminated widely.
- Accessing the app on their phone, despite not making comments, is creating an audience for bullying behavior.
- Administrators and Student services (social workers, school psychologists and counselors) are available for support and guidance if your student is having problems.
- At the school level, we have blocked access to the app on our network. Nonetheless, students can still access the app through their cellular network.
A significant way that we can deal with this app and others is to promote digital citizenship at home and at school. This is a learning opportunity for students on how their behavior and the choices that they make can impact others and their own future in a digital world. We ask that you have a meaningful conversation with your son/daughter. We also recommend deleting the Yik Yak app and reviewing the apps on your child's phone. Together, we can continue to make East Troy Schools a safe place for students to live and learn.
- Be Aware of What Your Kids are Doing Online
- Establish Rules about Technology Use
- Understand School Rules
CLICK HERE for more details on Yik Yak.