‘Written materials’ prompted security precautions at Millinocket high school

A May 2013 file photo of Stearns High School.
A May 2013 file photo of Stearns High School. Buy Photo
Posted June 13, 2014, at 11:57 a.m.
Last modified June 13, 2014, at 6:15 p.m.

MILLINOCKET, Maine — School officials and police are investigating written materials “found around” Stearns High School that prompted teachers Friday to lock students in classrooms for about an hour as a precaution, Superintendent Kenneth Smith said.

Smith, who was not at work Friday, said the students were locked in their classrooms in response to what appeared to be several notes or graffiti discovered by Stearns Vice Principal Chris Preble on Friday morning.

No one was injured.

The students were released at about noon because they were on a half-day schedule, Smith said.

“I don’t know exactly what the verbiage was, other than generally speaking it [had] mixed meanings,” Smith said.

The written materials “probably” contained some hint of foul play, he said.

“They have talked to some of the kids to determine who put some of the material up and how many people were involved. It wasn’t [an incident with] guns or anything like that,” Smith said. “It is just a procedure we go through.

“They are trying to determine who is involved and to an extent what the purpose was,” he added. “We will see if charges will be levied and any disciplinary action on the school’s [part will occur] once we know exactly who was involved and what their motive was.”

Once Preble, the highest-ranking school official at the school on Friday, discovered the materials, he told the teachers to lock the students in their rooms and had police summoned, Smith said.

“From what I can determine so far, [the room-locking] worked well,” Smith said.

Deputy Police Chief Janet Theriault, the Millinocket Police Department’s spokeswoman, could not be reached for comment on Friday.

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