Threats cancel Edgerton pep rally
Superintendent Norm Fjelstad announced Wednesday that Friday’s planned homecoming pep rally would be cancelled after rumors circulated that there would be a shooting at the event.
The district doesn’t know who started the rumors or if they have any validity, but administrators aren’t taking any chances, Fjelstad wrote in a letter to staff.
“We have no idea if this rumor is based on an actual threat or if it is just a rumor that is a byproduct of all the events that have occurred over the past week,” he wrote.
High school administrators learned of the rumor Tuesday when a parent called the school. They confirmed the existence of the rumor with four students, Associate Principal Clark Bretthauer said.
“There’s no way to know who initiated it,” he said.
The rumor had been building for a while, Principal Jim Halberg said.
The cancelled pep rally comes after two weeks of controversy over a ban of Insane Clown Posse clothing. Students peacefully protested the ban outside the school Monday, Oct. 1, but Fjelstad received e-mail and phone threats later that week from purported Insane Clown Posse fans who said they were flying there Friday to “deal with” somebody (Fjelstad) “who looks like and acts like Hitler.”
Two students involved in the protest were arrested Thursday, allegedly for making threats. They were released Friday without charges.
Fjelstad received a scare this morning when several students threw walnuts and rocks at his car as he drove near the campus.
“I ducked down because I thought it could have been a gunshot,” Fjelstad told WCLO radio.
He said he did not get a good look at the students before they ran off.
Halberg believes most students are tiring of the controversy and want to get back to normal for homecoming, he said.
“It is scary for some of the students,” he said. “I think one of the major reactions from some of the students is that they’re ready for this to be over.”
The administration is working with the student council to find alternatives to the pep rally, Bretthauer said. Students will gather in their home bases Friday for a “Tider Talk” video that will show the traditional pep rally activities, such as the crowning of the homecoming king and queen and an interview with the football coach. They will also make ice cream sundaes.
“We’re trying to do as many things as we can possibly do so the kids get a fun homecoming,” Halberg said.
An Edgerton police officer will be on campus Friday, and more will be on call if needed, Fjelstad wrote. The school posts an officer at the homecoming dance and game every year, Bretthauer said.
Halberg hopes homecoming brings an end to the problems of the last two weeks, he said.
“Once we get beyond homecoming and get to a certain point, we’ll be able to get beyond this and put it in some kind of perspective,” he said.