Schools evaluate safety precautions as manhunt continues, spring break ends

Police: Jakubowski less of a threat to schools
Schools evaluate safety precautions as manhunt continues, spring break ends

As the manhunt continues for a Janesville man accused of stealing high-end guns and writing a 161-page manifesto about his grievances with the government, local school districts are evaluating how to ensure student safety as spring break comes to a close.

“Student safety, staff safety is always our first concern,” Patrick Gasper, district communications specialist, said.

The Janesville School District started spring break a day early after all 22 schools closed April 7 as officials searched for Joseph Jakubowski, who an acquaintance said had made threats against schools and political officials. The decision to close school came after the schools were locked down all day April 6 .

“Spring break is a good time for us to take a breather from what happened last week,” Gasper said. “But we have been continuing here in the district office to be meeting to discuss how things went last Thursday, the decision points that we used to make our decision not to have school Friday and to review those processes.”

As investigators looked deeper into Jakubowski’s manifesto , they determined schools weren’t targeted as much as they once thought.

“While this all started with a school perspective and a school concern, that has been reduced significantly because when we look at the documents written by Mr. Jakubowski, there is little indication of schools in it,” Janesville Police Chief David Moore said.

He also said an incident April 6 at Lincoln Elementary School where a neighbor saw a man pick up a long gun from the bushes near the school is most likely not related to Jakubowski.

“I hope that this information gives some comfort to our communities,” Moore said. “It will certainly give some comfort to our schools because these appear to be two separate incidents that unfortunately happened on the same day.”

The Janesville School District is scheduled to have a teacher work day on Monday with students coming back to class on Tuesday. Gasper said the district will make an announcement sometime during the day Monday about school for the rest of the week.