Savanna Oaks Middle School students find ‘concerning message’ in bathroom, prompting additional police presence

School officials: All students safe, had 'productive and calm afternoon'
Savanna Oaks Middle School

FITCHBURG, Wis. — Savanna Oaks Middle School had an extra law enforcement presence Monday after students reported finding a “concerning message” in a bathroom, school officials said.

In an email to families sent early Monday afternoon and shared with News 3 Now, Principal Jorge Avalos said students reported seeing the threat in a girl’s bathroom around 10:30 a.m.

In a letter the district shared with News 3 Now shortly after 3 p.m. Monday, the district described the message as “written in barely legible, faint pencil and did not include a specific date.”

“This and other factors led the team to question if the message could have been present for quite some time,” the letter continued.

The school and Fitchburg Police Department decided against putting the school in a secure hold or evacuating it, citing a lack of information about the threat. The school did have an extra police presence Monday and will have police on hand on Tuesday, the district said.

The Fitchburg Police Department said it will continue to coordinate with district security personnel going forward to determine what level of extra police presence is necessary.

The district did not release specific details about what the message said, citing an ongoing investigation.

RELATED: Verona police say ‘no actual threats made’ to high school after investigating anonymous tip

Earlier this month, police in Verona investigated an anonymous tip about a threat at Verona Area High School that was later deemed not to be credible.

The full email sent to parents is below:

Hello SOMS Families,

We wanted you all to be aware of a non-specific threat that we are following up with in collaboration with the Fitchburg Police Department, District office, and Savanna Oaks Student Services Team.

At approximately 10:30 AM this morning, we had several students report seeing a concerning message in the girls bathroom. After viewing the message, it was impossible for our team to determine the date or time the threat was written. Additionally, the threatening message lacked a specific date.

At 11:00 AM we conferenced with the Fitchburg Police Department and members of our central office team. At that time, we determined there wasn’t sufficient information that would call for a need to “Secure and Hold” or evacuate the building. Out of an abundance of caution we have asked Fitchburg PD to spend additional time in the building today. We will continue to partner with them as we investigate this matter.

I will update you all as we gain more information.

Thank you,

Jorge Avalos


Savanna Oaks Middle School