December 8, 2023 – West Bend, WI – For the third time in one-week West Bend Police have been called to the West Bend School District for a report of an incident involving an “altercation.”
The latest incident reportedly occurred after school on Friday, December 8, 2023, when police responded to West Bend High School.
West Bend Police Chief Tim Dehring sent a note, “West Bend PD is investigating a fight at dismissal times (2:30 p.m.) involving several juveniles. We will be putting out a statement on our Facebook page as soon as we sort through the facts. It is an active and ongoing investigation. Tim D”
A note from associate principal Dave Uelmen was sent to families and staff.
UPDATE: Below is a statement from Superintendent Jen Wimmer.
December 8, 2023
Safety for our students, staff, and community is a priority. Behavior that is disruptive to the school community, jeopardizes safety, or makes others feel unsafe is absolutely unacceptable. This week we encountered incidents that fly in the face of this expectation. As such, substantial repercussions have already taken place with more to follow. Summaries regarding these incidents involving student behavior are provided below for your information.
- Monday after school at Badger, three female students participated in a verbal altercation. A male student entered the area and tried to direct one of the female students to move away from the altercation. The male student responded to the continued verbal altercation by striking one of the female students. A second student responded by repeatedly striking the male student who then pushed that student away from the altercation striking her during the exchange. Law enforcement was called and the investigation of the incident carried over into the next day. Consequences for physical altercations such as this include removal from school and municipal citations.
- Following dismissal on Friday, December 8, five students at East and West High Schools were taken into custody by the West Bend Police Department after a physical altercation in the East parking lot. The West Bend Police will be issuing a press release.
Students that act in this manner are removed from school and face additional consequences through referral to law enforcement. Let me be clear, this behavior is not and will not be tolerated in our schools.
I am resolute in my belief that school must be a place where everyone can feel safe. Anyone who threatens that feeling with their actions or words will face the greatest possible consequences. The West Bend Police Department, Jackson Police Department, and Washington County Sheriff’s Office have consistently supported us in those efforts and we will continue to partner with them when police action is warranted.
Your partnership is appreciated to ensure that students meet the expectations for safety in the school environment. Please talk with your child(ren) about the expectations for behavior in the school environment. In addition, we appreciate your continued support by encouraging students who witness, hear about, or experience bullying, threatening behavior, or criminal activity to report the information.
Thank you for your continued efforts to support your child(ren) and our schools. Should you have any questions, concerns, or feedback regarding discipline or any other aspect of your child’s education, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our administrators or me. We value your partnership in creating a nurturing and supportive environment for our students.
Jen Wimmer, Superintendent
Calls have been placed to Uelmen, superintendent Jen Wimmer, and emails to same.
Calls have also been placed to West Bend Police.
Earlier this week, West Bend Police Chief Tim Dehring said “there is a ZERO TOLERANCE approach to violence or threats of violence in any school setting. All acts of violence or threats of violence will result in an arrest. If you observe any violence or threats of violence, see something say something and contact a school official or the police department at 262-335-5000.”
On Monday, December 4, 2023, West Bend Police responded to Badger Middle School for an incident on the third floor.
Police corresponded with details via Lt. Brian McAndrews: “The Badger police liaison officer was asked to respond to a disturbance in one of the school hallways during dismissal time. The officer determined that two 13-year-old female students were having an argument in the hallway. A 14-year-old male student inserted himself into the argument and struck one of the female students and pushed the other into a locker or a wall.
“The boy was taken into custody and referred to Washington County Juvenile Intake for charges of battery and disorderly conduct,” said McAndrews. “The term ‘battery’ is basically an assault or harming somebody and disorderly conduct relates to a related disturbance.”
Questioned whether police were familiar with the 14-year-old male student, Lt. McAndrews said police had “minimal history with the young man” and “this is the only physical incident he has been involved in 2023.”
When police were asked to clarify the district’s language on “school consequences” Lt. McAndrews said, “When law enforcement is notified of a fight, and we take a student from the school it generally results in at least a suspension or some sort of parent meeting with school officials before the student’s return to class.”
Questioned whether a nurse or medical assistance was needed, Lt. McAndrews said, “The school nurse was one of the staff members who responded to the hallway where the incident took place.”
On Tuesday, December 5, 2023, there was another incident at Badger Middle School. Click HERE to see the statement from police. A follow-up article on the basketball incident was published December 8, 2023.
This is a working story, and more information will be posted when details become available.