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Portland middle school holds classes remotely Wednesday due to threats

Portland Public Schools Superintendent Xavier Botana said staff on Tuesday discovered "two separate threats written on a bathroom wall at the school."
Credit: NCM

PORTLAND, Maine — King Middle School students are learning remotely on Wednesday due to two separate threats found by staff in the school.

In a letter addressed to the Portland Public Schools community, Superintendent Xavier Botana said staff on Tuesday discovered "two separate threats written on a bathroom wall at the school."

Botana said one of the threats mentioned Tuesday, and one mentioned a potential protest scheduled to happen at the school on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, the school was in "stay in place" mode while police investigated the threat, and students were dismissed from school as usual. Botana said the school is holding a remote learning day Wednesday "out of an abundance of caution."

"Our first priority is to ensure students at all our schools are safe. We encourage everyone – students, parents and staff – to speak up if you see or hear of any potential threats," Botana said.

South Portland High School students were sent home early on Monday because of a report of a threat, and school officials in Poland, along with deputies, are investigating what Whittier Middle School is calling a "kill list" found on a student's computer.

Last month, officials confirmed threats against schools in Augusta, Madison, Limestone, Fort Fairfield, Madawaska, and Van Buren.

Violence against schools is in the national spotlight after an 18-year-old gunman killed 19 children and two teachers at a Texas elementary school on Tuesday.

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