Grieving parent causes disruption at Lubec Elementary School

By Sharon Kiley Mack, Special to the NEWS
Posted April 05, 2012, at 12:27 p.m.

LUBEC, Maine — The adopted father of a 12-year-old boy who apparently died at home of natural causes Wednesday morning reportedly came to the Lubec Elementary School on Thursday morning and caused a disruption.

Sheriff Donnie Smith said Eddie Smith, who is not related, was considered to be acting out in the throes of grief and is not considered dangerous. The sheriff was not specific about what exactly Eddie Smith did but said that all disruptive incidents are taken seriously.

“People who are grieving often do strange things,” the sheriff said. He added that school officials were uncomfortable with Eddie Smith’s presence at the school and contacted police.

Sheriff Smith said Eddie Smith had left the school when deputies arrived, shortly after classes began, but that an officer did catch up to and speak to the grieving man and asked him not to return to the school. No charges were filed, but a deputy planned to stay in Lubec throughout the day as a precaution.

Aloric Reardon Smith, 12, was found unresponsive in his bed and Eddie Smith called for an ambulance about 6:30 a.m. Wednesday, according to Detective Sgt. John Cote of the Maine State Police.

“He was taken to Downeast Community Hospital and was pronounced dead,” Cote said. “The boy had ongoing health issues including some flulike symptoms this week.”

“At this point we do not suspect any foul play,” Cote said Thursday morning.

The detective said later Thursday that an autopsy conducted by the state medical examiner’s office confirmed the boy died of natural causes.

The sheriff said Eddie Smith had a history of erratic behavior and was served with a letter from the school’s attorney in December 2010 that prohibited him from coming on school property.

“When he showed up at the school today, school officials were not comfortable and called for a police presence,” Sheriff Smith said.

The sheriff said the school never was under police lockdown.

“The school is always locked. You have to get buzzed in through the door to get inside,” he said.

Superintendent of Schools James Underwood was at the school and said classes were not disturbed and students were calm and doing their work. He said that nine counselors were at the school on Wednesday to assist the children and staff.

“It is so tragic. Our school is upside down,” Underwood said.

Friends of Aloric Reardon Smith have set up a Facebook page to leave messages at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/330848050306620/.

CORRECTION:

An early version of this story requires correction. Aloric Reardon Smith’s adopted father, Eddie Smith, was served with a letter from Lubec Elementary School’s attorney in 2010 barring him from school property, not a court order. Smith also was not named previously, but wants to be identified as the father of the boy, whom he says he has raised since the child was 3 years old and legally adopted in 2007.

http://bangordailynews.com/2012/04/05/news/down-east/grieving-parent-causes-disruption-at-lubec-elementary-school/ printed on July 23, 2014