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Greendale High School scare results in arrest

Sept. 25, 2012

Greendale - A Greendale High School student was arrested and charged Tuesday for a threat that was found in the school's boys restroom on Sept 20.

The threat indicated that something would happen in the ensuing three days. Nothing did, but a joint investigation by the Greendale Police Department and the school district resulted in the arrest.

In a prepared statement, the district said the student will face the "usual and customary discipline," up to including and including expulsion. The student will not be allowed to return to the school until the situation is resolved, the district said.

"It is important to emphasize that no students at Greendale High School were in any imminent danger," said Superintendent John Tharp, who thanked the high school and the Police Department for their roles in investigating the incident.

Police early on determined it was a prank but didn't stop there.

"Because the threat referred to something happening within a three-day period and that time has passed, we determined that it was a prank," said Police Chief Robert Malasuk. "However, we continued investigating. We wanted to determine who made the threat and what was the motivation."

The threat had particular impact on the school because it covered homecoming weekend, Malasuk said. School and police officials took the message seriously. A few homecoming related activities were canceled, and the dance was moved from the high school to Greendale Middle School.

Malasuk said police used bomb-sniffing dogs to ensure the safety of the high school. Although the dance location change was not widely publicized, the same precautions were used to clear out the middle school facility before the dance.

"We wanted to be consistent in our actions and take into account that a number of students were affected by this," Malasuk said. "Homecoming is a big deal to a lot of students. We wanted them to feel safe and not interrupt any more than necessary."

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