KIEL, Wis. (WFRV) – The City of Kiel has endured a whirlwind of threats since the middle of May, including multiple bomb threats to local schools and city buildings.
Below is a timeline of events over the last two weeks and how the community was effected.
A Wisconsin-based law firm asked the Kiel Area School District to drop complaints against three eighth-grade students who were accused of calling a classmate by the wrong pronouns.
According to the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL), three eighth-grade students in the Kiel Area School District were made aware of a Title IX complaint.
Title IX is a federal law that protects people from sexual discrimination in education programs or activities that receive federal funding. More information on the details of Title IX can be found here.
The Kiel Area School District announced on their Facebook page that a board meeting scheduled on May 23 would be rescheduled and held virtually on May 25. The rescheduling was due to law enforcement concerns over safety.
Kiel Police Department posted on their Facebook saying, “Over the last week our Police Department has responded to several communications received by Kiel Area School District staff – many have been extremely vulgar, hateful, and disturbing.”
Up to this point, the department reported that it had not received any “credible threat” to the safety of students so far.
The Kiel Police Department also announced that there would be additional patrols around the schools and officers would investigate the recent “hateful” activity toward staff.
A bomb threat that targeted the Kiel Area School District was received at 11:30 a.m.
According to a release, the Kiel Police Department said that multiple news outlets and additional people had received an email that contained a threat of bombs being placed at Kiel Middle School.
The threats were made in direct reference to the ongoing Title IX investigation being conducted by the Kiel Area School District.
Kiel Middle School, Kiel High School, and Zielanis Elementary School were evacuated as a precaution against the threat, and local law enforcement formed teams and searched all three public school buildings.
No devices or items were ever located in any of the three buildings.
A second bomb threat was received at 7:40 a.m.
Due to the threats the day before, all three schools in the area had already canceled class for the remainder of the week, holding lessons virtually.
With classes being canceled for the day, the schools were locked and no students or staff were present.
No devices were located and all buildings were cleared.
No students or staff were at the middle school or district offices, and no devices were found in the building.
Later that evening, the Kiel Area School District made the decision to hold classes virtually for the remainder of the year due to the continued threats.
In an email sent out to parents, Kiel Superintendant Brad Ebert said that all facilities will continue to be closed and that administrators are doing their best to make sure that all high school athletic events continue, however, not in Kiel itself.
According to the email, building principals and teachers will be communicating with students and parents regarding any off-site field trips, which may continue as planned. However, all end-of-the-year concerts have been canceled.
The City of Kiel posted that with the ongoing security concerns, the Memorial Day Parade is canceled.
Around 6:50 a.m. authorities received a fourth bomb threat directed at Kiel Middle School and the district office.
No devices were found once again and all buildings were cleared.
A fifth bomb threat was received around 9:30 a.m.
This threat also included additional buildings, along with the three Kiel schools and district office, Kiel City Hall and Kiel Public Library.
Employees at all locations were evacuated and the buildings were searched by authorities. No devices were found, and the buildings were cleared.
According to a release shared later that evening by the Kiel Police Department, a 34-year-old man from California was taken into custody for allegedly making threats to a staff member at the Kiel Area School District.
Officers made it clear that this was not in any way associated with the bomb threats, but a completely separate incident.
Multiple locations were listed in a sixth threat made to the city of Kiel.
Locations being threatened include:
- Kiel Schools (all – public and private)
- Roads (all)
- Utility stations
- City buildings
- Kiel Police Department
- Stores (all)
- Wastewater Treatment Plant
The City of Kiel Emergency Management Team is working with local, state, and federal authorities on resolving the issue.
The June 1 threat stated that if the school district did not drop the Title IX Investigation local government buildings, businesses, and infrastructure would be targeted on June 3.
Around 9 p.m., the Kiel Area School District announced that it would be ending its Title IX investigation.
In a letter sent to parents, board officials wrote:
“We are writing to share with you that consistent with our Board policies and procedures, we have issued clear directives and expectations to all students involved in this matter for the purpose of preventing bullying and harassment and ensuring a safe and supportive learning environment for all of our students. Based on these actions, and pursuant to District policies and procedures, the School District considers this matter closed.”Board of Education – Kiel Area School District
In a Facebook post that included the letter from the Kiel Area School District from June 2, the Kiel Police Department stated that they “will continue to be ready to respond to any threats made to our community.”
They also said that they will continue to work with the DCI and the FBI to track down the source of the previous threats and continue other investigations related to threats made to school staff members.
On the morning of June 3, the Kiel Police Department conducted precautionary searches throughout the city and found no items of concern.
During the search, around 10:30 a.m., the Kiel Police Department received yet another email. The email listed several government buildings, private businesses, and other infrastructure including locations in New Holstein. There was no threat made within the email.