- The jury in the Kyle Rittenhouse case has been deliberating since Tuesday.
- On Thursday, schools around the courthouse were closed to in-person learning in anticipation of a verdict.
- Officials said the decision to close certain schools was “out of an abundance of caution.”
A handful of schools located near the Kenosha County courthouse switched to virtual learning on Thursday in anticipation of a verdict in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial, according to a letter sent to local parents.
The jury in the high-profile case started deliberations on Tuesday, and tension has been mounting outside the courthouse. On Wednesday, a rifle-toting demonstrator showed up outside the courthouse, and two protesters were arrested after a clash.
When reached for confirmation of the school closures, the Kenosha Unified School District’s chief communications officer, Tanya Ruder, forwarded Insider a letter that the district sent to parents. The letter explained that Harborside Academy and Reuther Central High School, each located within blocks of the courthouse, switched to virtual learning beginning on Wednesday.
On Thursday, three more schools near the courthouse — Brass Community School, Frank Elementary School, and Washington Middle School — also switched to virtual learning. Ruder told Insider that these schools will continue virtual learning through Friday.
The letter said that the district decided to close the selected schools for in-person learning “out of an abundance of caution due to the proximity of the school boundaries to the courthouse and the number of students who walk to and from school.”
“Unfortunately, a verdict has not been reached in the Rittenhouse trial and activity surrounding the courthouse continues to grow,” the letter said.
The parents of students attending schools remaining open are also being allowed to keep their children at home, if they are concerned about the atmosphere caused by the Rittenhouse verdict nearing.
“We understand that this may impact our students in various ways, which is why we want to remind families of schools not listed above that you may choose to keep your children home if you feel that is in their best interest. If you decide to call them in, they will be excused,” the letter said.
Read the full letter below: