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Multiple Maine schools receive threats Tuesday

Officials have confirmed threats against schools in Augusta, Madison, Limestone, Fort Fairfield, Madawaska, and Van Buren.

MAINE, USA — Threats have been made against multiple Maine schools Tuesday.

Maine State Police assisted in responding to threats against Cony High School and Madison Area Memorial High School, Maine Department of Public Safety spokesperson Shannon Moss said. 

The agency sent a police dog team to do a sweep of each school, and both schools were cleared, according to Moss.

The threat against Cony was "communicated through a phone call received by the Augusta Communications Center," Augusta Deputy police Chief Kevin Lully said in a news release issued Tuesday.

Cony Principal Kim Silsby said they evacuated classrooms out of an abundance of caution. She said class was back in session after an hour, but students were shaken up.

"It's really disruptive because these students lost an hour of instruction," Silsby said. "That can be frustrating. And [for] some students, that really affects them in terms of the social and emotional part of them, so it is very disruptive to our school."

The Maine Information and Analysis Center, or MIAC, is monitoring the situation, Moss said.

Moss said schools in the Aroostook County towns of Limestone, Fort Fairfield, Madawaska, and Van Buren also received threats Tuesday.

"As some of you may know we had a bomb threat called into our school system today," Limestone police Chief Joey Smith wrote in a Facebook post. "We checked the school over top to bottom and was unable to find anything suspicious in our school."

"We were notified that many other schools have been getting bomb threats this morning," Smith added. "These have been addressed as well and we are working to figure out who is making these vicious threats."

Fort Fairfield police Chief Matthew Cummings said his department responded to a similar threat at Fort Fairfield Middle High School.

"The same threat was delivered to multiple schools in Aroostook County and throughout the state," Cummings wrote in a Facebook post.

According to Cummings, the school was evacuated while officials searched the school for suspicious devices or bags, and they determined there was no credible threat to students and staff.

"This appears to be some nationwide hoax made from spoof numbers," Cummings wrote.

On Monday, Marshwood High School's superintendent, John Caverly, wrote in a Facebook post that South Berwick police "received a phone call indicating that there was a threat in a student backpack in 'room 50 English class.'" The same message was received by several other schools locally and in Canada, according to Caverly.

"The South Berwick Police Department shared that it appeared to be a robocall that was focused on 'York' or 'York County' as York High School and a school in Canada with York in the title also received the threat. Marshwood High School did not receive any direct threat or notification. We also do not have a room 50 at Marshwood High School," Caverly wrote.

Students and staff sheltered in place while officials checked the building and found no credible threat, according to Caverly.

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