TODAY WE BEGIN A DAILY SPECIAL SERIES COUNTING DOWN THE TOP TEN FRANKLIN STORIES OF 2016.
May 25, 2016
At 9:40 a.m. a computer-generated threat was called into Franklin High School.
Photo: Fox 6 News
Franklin’s outstanding police and fire departments conducted a thorough search of the building and determined the building to be safe for re-entry.
Students and staff were kept outside the building at the athletic complex during the sweep.
The situation was handled, in my view, perfectly.
But this is Franklin where crippling taxes, a total lack of economic development, and zero growth or progress yield long yawns, but a lost kitten sends shockwaves.
Social media had Franklin residents come out of the fetal position long enough to make it to their computers and go nutso.
“I don’t have kids, but they should be further from the school. They should be at least across the street until it is safe.”
“And what happens when someone calls one in as a decoy and you’ve just concentrated all the students to one area and your delusional person is really a gunman. I’m sorry but I would think sporadic groups the best option.”
“So these calls have been happening across the country. Who’s to say the nutcases doing this aren’t making these calls on purpose just to case the evacuation plan and the next time the call will come for a bomb in the school but in reality the real device is in the evacuation area. Where you have everyone sitting nice and close together, like sitting ducks.”
“Shouldn’t everyone be evacuated completely off site? How are we to know the stadium is safe?”
“Can I just point out-and not in this situation, just in general-it’s common knowledge where students will go in the event of these threats. They either go home, or students are concentrated to a field house/football stadium/auditorium usually onsite….is that logically speaking the best plan? Particularly when these locations become public knowledge..?”
“For those that feel Franklin conducted this incorrectly, there will be school board and city council positions available this fall. I’m sure they would love you on the panel with such great ideas!!! Just saying!!!“
“My son just came home and said ALL THE KIDS were concerned and confused why they were put all together were they could have all been blown up!”
“why aren’t buses available? The district can’t buy or lease or retain 5 buses for emergency situations?”
“good question now that I watched the news about Germantown they were able to bus the children home”
Good Lord, the police and school officials are trained and prepared for this kind of security issue. No one got hurt. Everyone was safe.
The real outrage should have been directed at the evil culprits who made the threat.
In one of my favorite movies of all-time, repeated constantly on cable TV, the mayor says to the police chief in “Jaws” that whoever desecrated a billboard needs to be “hung up by their Buster Browns.”
There were several threats around the country that week. In Colorado’s Jefferson County Public Schools, the first response to a threat at Lakewood High School was to calmly analyze the situation before moving students out of the building. Check out the following quote.
“We bring in law enforcement, our security team. We sweep the school. We’re looking at cameras,” said John McDonald, executive director of security for the Jefferson County Public schools. “We’re doing all that stuff that we should be doing, but to evacuate just because some computer-generated voice says that there’s an explosive device — we’re just not going to always fall for that.”
Uncommon common sense.
Of the six Wisconsin schools that received automated calls the same day as Franklin’s threat, leaders at four of them evacuated children.
About a week later Franklin Mayor Steve Olson posted on his Facebook page:
There has been a lot of conversation on FaceBook regarding public safety procedures after last week’s bomb threat at the High School. It’s important that Franklin citizens and visitors understand that public safety is the first priority for the City. You should know that emergency preparedness is worked on by our departments regularly and cooperatively. Earlier this year the Health and Fire Departments with the approval of the Common Council embarked on a review of our preparedness that included training sessions. Two review training sessions were held over the winter with a third today (May 31,2016).
Today’s exercise was what’s called a tabletop exercise discussion of a tornado. The guided exercise allowed us to see our strengths and weaknesses and continued the open communications between departments. In addition to me and Council President Wilhelm, departments working together included Fire and Police, Clerk, Health, DPW, Engineering, Water/Sewer, Library, Finance, IT, Admin and others. Each participated in defining their role, strength and weaknesses and things to work on to improve. Safety preparedness doesn’t just happen. Your staff works at it.
Important info to keep in mind when the next threat comes.
THE TOP 10 FRANKLIN STORIES OF 2016
10) BOMB THREAT AT FHS