BANGOR – Schools across Maine were put on alert Friday after a threat was received identifying a dozen schools as targets, as well as Sen. Susan Collins.
Maine State Police are working with the FBI to investigate the threats.
“A business got this threat over their website during the night, discovered it this morning and then called police,” said Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety. “Obviously, we were in the loop of that information very quickly and have been on this case throughout the day.”
The business contacted Orono Police Department, who contacted the state police and the Maine Department of Education. The agency issued a priority notice to every school in the state.
“We received notification from the Maine Department of Education saying that they had received a somewhat vague threat that included a number of schools throughout the state of Maine, and Bangor High School was one of those,” said Kathy Harris-Smedberg, assistant superintendent for Bangor. “In order to provide an abundance of caution and to ensure we keep all student safe, we went into a soft lockdown for all our schools.”
She added, “After school activities were also canceled. And again, it was just a precaution.”
Brewer and RSU 22 in Hampden also locked down their schools, as did others.
“The FBI also has been brought in as we have been working with our national counterparts utilizing the assets they have in Quantico and Washington to see whether we can pinpoint the source of this threat,” McCausland said. “And, obviously, whether it has any credibility or not.”
Collins’ office issued a statement saying they acted quickly.
“We immediately contacted the Capitol Police, who worked closely with the FBI and state and local law enforcement to quickly ensure the safety of Maine schools,” the statement said.
Parents say they reacted with mixed emotions.
“Sadly at first, the reaction was ‘another one?’ but then, of course, the thoughts all start to set in and the fear sets in and you worry that it could be real even though it was a soft lock-down and they said the threat was vague,” said Nicole Gudroe, of Bangor. “There is always a chance something could happen.”