Savanna Oaks Middle School March 2020

Outside the entrance to Savanna Oaks Middle School.

A “concerning” message found written in pencil on a stall in a bathroom at Savanna Oaks Middle School on Monday, Dec. 13, was found to not present a credible threat, but the district administration brought in “additional adult presence” for the school day.

In a news release from the Verona Area School District administrative office on Dec. 13, the district was informed of a vague message being present on a stall in the girls’ bathroom at 10:30 a.m., which led the district’s response team composed of building administration, central office administrators and the City of Fitchburg Police Department, to investigate the message. 

The message – which the exact wording the district declined to share in the release because of its investigation into who wrote it – was barely legible, written in faint pencil and didn’t provide any specific dates, leading the team to question how long the message had been there, the release said.

“We are committed to sharing timely information with students, families, and staff to ensure accurate communication and promote trust among our community,” the release stated. “Having determined that the environment is safe, we are currently investigating the incident to determine the person or persons responsible for the message.”

Additional police personnel were on campus today as a result, and no disruptions to Savanna Oak’s day-to-day operations occurred, the release said. Fitchburg police will be at the school on Tuesday, Dec. 14, out of an “abundance of caution,” the release said.

The district encourages people to help it maintain a safe learning environment at its sites by reporting tips or incidents to the district’s online tip reporting system, calling the district’s security team at (608) 653-1004 or by telling a trusted staff member at any of the schools.

A rumored threat at Verona Area High School earlier this month that circulated on social media caused nearly one-third of the school’s population to be absent on Friday, Dec. 3, with attendance dropping throughout the day. Although the threat was unfounded and there was no threat to students, the school postponed the annual Multicultural Showcase to February 2022 so that a higher percentage of its students could attend the show.

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