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South Portland High School students sent home Monday amid reported threat

An investigation revealed a "non-specific threat but a threat nonetheless," Principal Michele LaForge said in a letter addressed to parents and families.

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine — South Portland High School students were sent home early on Monday because of a report of a threat. 

In a letter addressed to parents and families, Principal Michele LaForge said an investigation "revealed a non-specific threat but a threat nonetheless."

The high school was in a shelter-in-place until about 11:35 a.m., but LaForge said students were sent home so officials could investigate the alleged threat.

The decision to send students home was made in consultation with South Portland Superintendent Timothy Matheney and the South Portland Police Department, according to LaForge.

"We will continue to investigate the issue thoroughly, and Superintendent Matheney has informed me that the School Department is prepared to file criminal complaints against and expel any individual who seeks to disrupt the education of our students by making any threats – even those that are not credible," LaForge said in the letter.

LaForge added that officials are interviewing a "number of students" who "may be connected to the issue."

Matheney told NEWS CENTER Maine that school officials plan to pursue criminal charges and expel the student responsible. He said he believes a student is responsible for the threat.

South Portland High School's after-school activities, practices, and events were canceled Monday.

LaForge sent an update in a letter addressed to parents and families around 3:45 p.m. Monday stating students would be attending in-person classes on Tuesday.

"We look forward to welcoming students back to a regular White day tomorrow," LaForge said in the letter. "All extracurriculars will resume as planned."

In an additional update in a letter addressed to parents and families around 5:45 p.m. Monday, LaForge addressed rumors that have been going around following the incident.

"Please know that the incident did not have anything to do with a fight in a parking lot or a fire extinguisher going off or someone bringing a knife to school," LaForge said in the letter. "Rather, we are investigating some graffiti written on the walls of a bathroom."

The investigation into the bathroom wall graffiti is still ongoing. 

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