Livingston Public Schools Hacked With Ransomware, Classes Delayed Today
Hackers broke into the network across nine schools and encrypted their data, essentially holding it hostage. Students and staff will be able to browse the internet and use their email accounts, but the full phone system is still down.Administrators said they reported the crime to police and plan to meet with staff this morning.As for the delayed opening, high school classes will start at 9:50 a.m., elementary schools will at 10:05 a.m., Heritage Middle School will open at 10:20 a.m. and Mount Pleasant at 10:35 a.m.Officials said it could take weeks to completely resolve the issue and get the data back.
Two Wisconsin teenagers — 91 miles apart — shot by police officers inside their high schools within 24 hours.
In Waukesha,. In Oshkosh,
That's more than enough, but it isn't all. A gun that was later found to be fake was reported at Waukesha North High School the same day shots were fired in the city's south side high school. In Sparta, classes were called off Tuesday after a student — and their parent's firearm — went missing. In Germantown, police are meeting with parents of a student whoto two schools there.
High school unveils synthetic frogs for dissection in biology class
The smell of formaldehyde in classrooms may soon be a thing of the past as high schools begin to introduce synthetic animals for dissection. Students used their scalpels to dissect nearly 100 "realistic man-made" frogs for the first time last week at the J.W. Mitchell High School in New Port Richey, Florida, according to Syndaver, the Tampa-based company that manufactures human and animal models for medical simulation, education and medical device development.
And on Sunday, West Bend parents were told police were investigating an alleged online post about a school shooting scheduled for the next day — but evidence of it was never found.
In all, teenagers in at least eight high schools across Wisconsin were stung with terror within three days this week, in some cases leaving parents and school officials helpless and police in a position of using deadly force on children.
"I just never thought it would happen in my school," said Carly Steinert, a 17-year-old senior who ran terrified out of Oshkosh West High School on Tuesday with screaming classmates.
"It's pretty crazy to think that this is actually happening all over Wisconsin and where I live and someone I know could have gotten hurt. I don't know. It's just pretty scary."
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Gov. Tony Evers, whose own children graduated from Steinert's high school, said though the threats in schools across the state weren't similar in seriousness — they are emblematic of the terror lurking as shootings continue with horrifying regularity.
"It’s impossible to ignore the fact that in addition to today’s officer-involved shooting at Oshkosh West, the Sparta School District is closed due to security threats, and that this happened just a day after we had another school shooting at Waukesha South," he said in a statement. "The last two days tells us that we can’t keep pretending that this only happens in other communities or in other states — it’s happening here, too."
In Waukesha and West Bend, parents were put on alert last week by police and school officials about preventing school violence and taking online threats of school shootings seriously.
Even though a pellet gun was found on a student in Waukesha within days, the same police and school officials say the warnings and the incidents aren't likely connected.
Florida school uses synthetic frogs for science class dissection
The synthetic frogs can be reused again and again, unlike the frogs currently killed every year for dissection. "We're proud to have found a partner in SynDaver to bring this revolutionary new educational tool to life, replacing the outdated use of once-living frogs forever," said Shalin G. Gala, PETA's vice president of International Laboratory Methods. PETA estimates that millions of frogs are killed each year due to school dissections.
"There does not appear to be any connection," said West Bend Police Chief Ken Meuler, who emphasized his officers could not find any evidence of the rumored post warning of a school shooting.
Department of Justice spokeswoman Gillian Drummond, Wisconsin Professional Police Association president Jim Palmer, and Dan Rossmiller of the Wisconsin Association of School Boards, all said they were unaware of any guidance or warning provided to school districts to prompt the similar advice given by two school districts ahead of this week's incidents.
Meuler said his department investigates each alleged threat posted on social media, which has surged in recent years, and monitors such communication to prevent incidents like those in Waukesha and Oshkosh.
He said teenagers should take more seriously what they say online, comparing the forum to threatening someone in a TSA line at an airport.
Germantown police investigating school threats
Germantown police say they've determined a pair of threats to local schools are not credible. In a message to parents, Police Chief Peter Hoell and school Superintendent Jeff Holmes say administrators learned Monday evening of threats against Germantown High School and Kennedy Middle School for today. Investigators say around 3 a.m. they identified the student who made both threats and determined the threats were "not credible". Classes at bothIn a message to parents, Police Chief Peter Hoell and school Superintendent Jeff Holmes say administrators learned Monday evening of threats against Germantown High School and Kennedy Middle School for today.
"I don't have any sympathy for them," he said. "It's gotten so frustrating."
Attorney General Josh Kaul said Tuesday the Department of Justice's Office of School Safety would be working with the Waukesha and Oshkosh school districts to ensure students have proper counseling and other services.
Steinert is part of a generation who rehearse surviving, but said drills didn't prepare the students for the emotion of not knowing whether they were still in danger after hearing a gunshot.
"We were getting started and doing some homework questions and all of a sudden we heard this loud bang and then we heard screams," said Steinert, who was in math class when the shot was fired. "People were crying everywhere and people were just screaming 'Get out! Get out!'"
While it's unclear whether more strict rules for guns would have prevented any of these incidents, to Kaul and Evers they underscored the need for legislation implementing more restrictions.
"Kids who go to schools in Wisconsin and around the country today face a danger that was not present when I was a student in public schools in Wisconsin, which is a real concern about mass violence in schools," Kaul, 38, said. "We've got to take action to work to make those incidents less likely."
Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald did not respond to requests for interviews, but Fitzgerald in a statement commended law enforcement and offered his prayers for the Oshkosh and Waukesha communities.
Fitzgerald also touted $100 million in school safety grants lawmakers voted to provide districts in 2018.
"Listening to news reports describe how safety improvements were used yesterday is confirmation that Republicans and Democrats made the right choice in working together to fund that program," he said. "We’ll continue to look for ways we can address students' needs in school.”
U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, a Republican from Oshkosh, said the incidents suggest preventing students from bringing weapons to school was impossible.
"The incidents at Waukesha South and Oshkosh West remind us that we do not possess the capability to completely prevent someone from bringing a weapon to school," he said. "We should all be thankful, however, that larger tragedies may well have been averted due to training, and the swift and courageous action of students, teachers, school administrators, and armed school resource officers."
He said action should be taken against students posing such threats to mitigate harm and limit casualties.
Evers has called on lawmakers to take up legislation that would expand background checks, requiring them for online sales, and give judges more authority to bar anyone deemed threatening from possessing firearms.
Republican lawmakers refused to do over concerns of due process and infringing on Second Amendment rights. But Evers has said he may call on them again, convening what's known as a special legislative session.
In the meantime, Steinert said she's pretty sure she'll return to school when it reopens.
"I feel like our officer did a very good job of protecting everyone so I don't think I'm that scared to go back to school ... although it was a pretty horrifying experience," she said.
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This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
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