Sept. 24, 2018 – West Bend, WI – West Bend Police Chief Ken Meuler is confirming one child was arrested in the West Bend School District in connection with an issue involving pornography.
During a telephone interview last week Meuler commented on record.
“We have one complaint that was brought forward to us and we took a kid into custody. If there are others and somebody has evidence then they need to report that to us,” he said. “That was Feb. 7, 2018 and it was at Badger Middle School involving a 15-year-old boy and he had possession of obscene material and he was exposing other children to it.”
Meuler said the child was referred to juvenile authorities.
The issue of pornography at the Middle School has been brought before the West Bend School Board three times over the past month including at the annual meeting.
Meuler said he called the superintendent of the West Bend School District after he found out about the three statements before the board to see if the board took any action or if they reported it to police.
“I called up the superintendent and said ‘how can you sit at a meeting and listen to this and not say this might be a crime,'” he said. “Either question her on it or at least call us and say this was reported to us.”
Meuler said it was also irresponsible for the media to not check with police about the statements. “I’m not just jumping on you,” said Meuler. “Somebody has to report it. It’s not being protective of the kids to not report it to police.”
Emails have been sent to members of the West Bend School Board to see if any of the elected officials contacted police regarding the statements made to the board. As of 9:15 a.m. Monday none of the board members has commented.
West Bend School District Superintendent Don Kirkegaard confirmed the chief did call him about the complaints made during the meetings.
“We’re going to talk about it at the next school board meeting,” said Kirkegaard. “We have policies in place, we don’t think our policies are not working.”
Kirkegaard is new to the school district and said the incident Meuler referred to with the boy was handled appropriately.
“We follow the same guidelines and same regulations as every district in Wisconsin and literally every district in the United States because we all have the same federal guidelines, just like our libraries do, to require the filters and servers and software to exclude inappropriate material,” said Kirkegaard. “That doesn’t mean to say that there isn’t from time to time someone gets through or brings their own device in and when that happens 100 percent of the time we address it.”
Kirkegaard said, “At this point in time we are not suggesting we will eliminate phones from school; that is not being considered at this time.”
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