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Parents concerned about 'swatting' calls that disrupted schools

South Park Middle School in Oshkosh Oct. 21, 2022. (WLUK)
South Park Middle School in Oshkosh Oct. 21, 2022. (WLUK)
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OSHKOSH, Wis. (WLUK) -- As investigators continue looking into a string of fake shooter calls at schools, parents and lawmakers are weighing in.

"I mean, it's obviously deeply concerning, and I would love to know what the school district is going to do moving forward," Oshkosh Parent Tamarra Nelson said.

"It's not just schools," State Senator Robert Cowles said. "When you have one of these false calls, the critical resources for a given police departments are mobilized, and they're not available for other legitimate things that should be taken care of."

South Park Middle School in Oshkosh was the target of one swatting call.

Here is a map of the five total swatting calls that were reported Thursday:

The Oshkosh Police Department issued a release, saying:

The safety and security of our students continues to be our top priority, and we take all police calls for service seriously.

Tamarra Nelson is a nearby resident and district mom. She agrees no threat can be taken lightly.

"I honestly believe teachers should be taught gun safety," Nelson said. "Have an extra police officer there."

Although no one was harmed in any of the incidents, Cowles says the callers need to be punished. He co-sponsored a bill in 2019 that Gov. Tony Evers signed into law.

"This is a class H felony now, so the judge would have the discretion of putting someone away for several years," Cowles said. "The hope is that that will create enough fear that these crazy people that do such things will stop doing them."

Cowles said that prior to the law, there was no legal action for swatting. He hopes more people are made aware of the possible penalties.

"I have several friends of mine that I bumped into this morning say, 'Hey, what are you going to do about this?' And I said, 'We've done it'," Cowles said.

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The FBI issued a statement as well, saying they are looking into the calls. They've urged the public to continue reporting all threats.

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