Wisconsin High School Evacuated After Student Arrives in Stormtrooper Costume for Star Wars Day
A student celebrating Star Wars Day prompted the brief evacuation of a Wisconsin high school on Thursday morning because they were wearing a Stormtrooper costume, officials said, describing it as a mix-up.
Capt. Jody Crocker, of Wisconsin’s Ashwaubenon Department of Public Safety, tells PEOPLE it happened this way:
Someone driving adjacent to Ashwaubenon High School saw a masked person entering with a large duffel bag and what appeared to to be a bullet-proof vest — but what was actually a costume of a Stormtrooper, a fictional soldier in the Star Wars franchise.
The school was evacuated for about an hour and the students were safely returned, Crocker says.
According to WBAY, the Ashwaubenon School District has a no-costume policy which they plan to emphasize to students going forward. The district did not immediately return PEOPLE’s message for comment.
In a statement posted to its Facebook page, the district described the incident as “a misunderstanding.”
The statement added, “There was no intent of a threat, but the student will be held accountable.”
Crocker says that the student will not face any charges, adding, “I don’t think this was an intentional scare.”
He says the person who called in the costume “did exactly what we’d want anybody to do. There’s a saying, ‘If you see something, say something,’ and that’s exactly what happened.”
He adds that police “reacted appropriately as well.”
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Crocker says that numerous reports have erroneously said the student was wearing a Darth Vader costume.
May 4 is annually celebrated by Star Wars fans around the world in reference to Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi’s phrase “May the force be with you.”
It’s believed the play on the phrase dates back to May 4, 1979, the day that Margaret Thatcher took office as the U.K.’s prime minister — and two years after the release of the first Star Wars film.
Thatcher’s political party placed a congratulatory ad in a London paper that read “May the Fourth Be with You, Maggie. Congratulations.”
• With JODI GUGLIELMI