Letter to the Editor

The following is a post on Facebook by the parent of a student at Williams Bay High School

I have thought long and hard about the decision to make a public post or comment due to the sensitive nature of the situation at Williams Bay School. As a Parent involved in the investigation, I only thought it would only be right for me to inform the rest of the parents of the information that I have been told by WB School administration, the WB Police department and from other parents and classmates that have witnessed many “red flags”. In the letter, I will address the unreleased statements and facts that I have gathered and verified to the best of my ability. Lastly, I will end with some questions that as a community we deserved to have answered.

On Thursday at 1:51 I received a call from Dr. White at the Williams Bay School. He informed me that a “Kill List” had been found and my daughter’s name was on it. Upon hanging up the phone I headed to School to meet my daughter’s Mother. We sat with Dr. White and discussed the situation. We asked to see a copy of the “kill list”. At that point, we were shown a copy of the document with the other kids’ names redacted to protect their privacy. This was not a corner of a piece of paper with some names written on it. It was a full 2-page document that not only contained the “kill list” but also “phases” on how the killing would be carried out. Once I saw the document I realized how serious of a situation this is. After interviews with several of the “Author’s” classmates and friends, it became very evident that we need to take this seriously. These kids are scared but brave enough to stand up for what is right. They are talking now, as a community we must hear them.

Some of the “Red Flags” that I feel necessary to share are: The “Author” more than likely has access to firearms. Contrary to the statements made to the Lake Geneva Regional News by Williams Bay Interim Police Chief Chris Severt which were “the girl also had no access to weapons, so investigators determined there was no credible threat of violence”. Several classmates have come forth that it is common for firearms to be laying around the “Author’s” house. One student described a recent time that she had gone to the “Author’s” house and there were a bunch of guns lined up in the living room. The “Author’s” dad is an avid hunter. And, the “Author” has been known to brag to classmates that she has her own gun. I heard from a student who is a friend of the “Author” that her behavior at school has been getting progressively worse. She has acted out violently toward classmates even punching them. Multiple students have reported that the “Author” is known to make anti-semitic remarks and to draw swastikas. She tried to convince classmates/friends to have a birthday party for Hitler with her.

The “Author” verbally stated to other students that she was going to kill Dr. White. A boy responded, “can I watch?” (which is also scary) The “Author” replied, “You will already be dead”.  The “Author’s” family house is within walking distance of the School.  To my knowledge as I am writing this, the “Author” has not undergone a psychological evaluation and her Parents are refusing to cooperate with authorities. There are more details and information available but I would like to keep it brief out of respect for all those that are involved.

Now for the Questions that we demand answers to:

1. Why is our towns’ reputation more important than the safety of our students?  Between the inaccurate statement given by our Interim Police Chief to offer a false sense of safety and the comment made to me by a top-ranking member of the WB School Administration (we don’t want to overshadow all the good that we have done here with something like this) it has been very evident that it is time for us as a community to face our Skeletons in the same brave fashion that our kids have. I am so proud of the students for knowing the difference between what is right and wrong…even when the adults are confused by it.

2. Why was the “Author” released from school to her Parent?  From my understanding, she should’ve been taken to the Health and Human Services by the authorities to be evaluated. Now that opportunity isn’t available with her parents refusing to cooperate. Where did everybody go?  I understand that people have personal lives outside of work but in my opinion, this situation has been taken too lightly. Dr. Anderson the schools administrator (And the only one that can recommend further action) is out of town and unavailable until Monday. Interim Police Chief Severt was also unavailable for comments or discussion because he decided that this was a good weekend to take off as well. So basically nothing can be decided until our kids are at school on Monday (4-30-18).

Are we ready?  It is very common in school shootings to hear the phrase “we never thought that it could happen here”. Our kids are ready and brave enough to point out the red flags; now it’s our responsibility to show them that we are listening. One of the children also brought up a good point, which is that ALL students participate in active shooter drills…including the students that are potential threats. We are inadvertently telling a potential threat how the students will react in a real-life situation. The best tool that we have is our ability to come together as a village and use our eyes and ears to keep our community safe. No amount of drills is going to stop a shooter that has gained entrance to the school.  Why don’t we have a Resource Officer at the school?  I believe that a resource officer would not only improve the safety of the school but it would allow communication and interaction between the kids and the Police. Growing up in Williams Bay we knew all of the Police officers and we trusted them. They were part of the community just like our Teachers, friends and family.

In my opinion, the flow of information and lack of action was directly affected by the inability to move forward without the presence of several key members of our community. This is a problem that needs to be addressed asap. It is very disturbing that information was withheld from the other parents. I’m concerned that Williams Bay Interim Police Chief Chris Severt would give assurances that contradict information that was shared by the students who know the “Author”. And it should not take almost 4 days to reach the School’s superintendent’s desk. Parents shouldn’t be expected to send their kids to school before the situation is even assessed by the Superintendent. Parents and fellow members of the community, it is our time to come together to not only keep our kids safe but to get help for the young “Author”. It is very clear to me that this little girl is in the middle of an emotional and/or mental crisis. Unfortunately, I’ve been told by a source close to the family that they aren’t taking this seriously and they think that everyone is overreacting.

“It was just a joke”. This is not a Joke. Jokes are funny. Jokes don’t cause fear. Jokes don’t change lives. Jokes don’t take away a person’s right to feel safe and secure. Bottom line is that our kids need us and our guidance more than we know. And sometimes it takes a village to raise a child!

From the Facebook page of Ronnie Stocking Williams Bay Resident

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