Edgerton students arrested for threats
Matthew D. Richardson, 17, and Kristina M. Schneider-Hendron, 17, were arrested Thursday afternoon on a charge of conspiracy for making comments earlier in the day, Police Chief Tom Klubertanz said.
“They threatened violence and wouldn’t care what happened at the school,” he said. “They would just take care of everything with no reference to how or what they would do.”
Klubertanz said the threats did not reference the band Insane Clown Posse, but he noted the two students were involved in a recent controversy involving the right to wear T-shirts representing the band.
The controversy started last week when Richardson told the principal he felt harassed by a teacher after wearing one of the band’s shirts.
Richardson and Schneider-Hendron were involved in a resulting student protest.
Superintendent Norm Fjelstad said the band promotes misogyny, racism and gang violence.
The threats the students made and their arrests are separate from several threatening phone calls and an e-mail Fjelstad received Wednesday from purported Insane Clown Posse fans in New York, Klubertanz said.
The e-mail said there were “ICP Juggalos flying here” to show Fjelstad how they deal with “an idiot who looks like and acts like Hitler,” according to a letter Fjelstad sent his staff Thursday.
Edgerton Police are investigating those threats, but the chief said he wasn’t “too concerned” about them.
Fjelstad thanked his staff in a letter today for not overreacting to his decision to be “very open about this matter.”
“To continue this type of communication relies on you to work with us to stop the vicious rumor mill and fear tactics that often go with those who try to get their way by intimidation and bullying,” he wrote. “We don’t allow intimidation and bullying in our schools with our students, and we should model appropriate response behavior as adults.”
Fjelstad gave The Janesville Gazette copies of his letters but declined further comment.
According to the letters:
The “Juggalos” (a term for Insane Clown Posse fans) said they would be in Edgerton today and Fjelstad had “24 hours to change the decision to allow ICP T-shirts and any other reference to ICP in this little (expletive) city or they know how to deal with (expletive) people like (him).”
They said they know where Fjelstad lives and have his picture from the district Web site.
The “decision” refers to a ban Edgerton High School enacted last week on Insane Clown Posse clothing. A group of more than 30 students protested the ban Monday by wearing the banned clothing and clown make-up across the street from the school.
Fjelstad was taking the threat seriously but didn’t plan to stay home today, he wrote.
“It could be some of our students trying to give me a hard time, but in this crazy world we live in, I thought it best to inform you this morning so you can stay alert to any unusual visitors that might arrive today or tomorrow,” he wrote Thursday in the letter to staff.