July 16, 2018
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Bomb threat prompts Doughty School evacuation for second day in a row

By Dawn Gagnon and Nok-Noi Ricker, BDN Staff

BANGOR, Maine — For the second consecutive day, a message scrawled on a restroom wall at James F. Doughty School prompted an evacuation early Thursday afternoon.

No bomb was found during searches Wednesday and Thursday by members of the Bangor Police Department, who brought bomb-detecting dogs to the middle school, police said.

The threat on Wednesday was discovered in a boys bathroom. It was reported to police at 1:25 p.m. and the school’s students and staff were sent to nearby Vine Street School until the building was deemed safe at 2:25 p.m. Students were able to return to the school in time to board their buses home, Edwards said.

Thursday’s threat, found in a girls bathroom, was reported at 1:19 p.m. Superintendent Betsy Webb said students again were sent to Vine Street and were allowed to return to Doughty School in time to board their buses.

This time, however, students were not allowed to retrieve their belongings before leaving, with the exception of those who had keys to their homes inside. Those students were delivered home slightly later, she said.

Because students could not access their belongings, Thursday’s after-school activities were canceled, she said.

Asked if any other activities might be canceled, Webb said, “That’s not the plan right.”

Webb said Wednesday’s threat occurred late in the school day and that parents were not immediately notified. Letters notifying them of Wednesday’s incident already had been sealed in envelopes when Thursday’s threat occurred.

Webb said she then decided to issue an alert through the school’s IRIS, or Immediate Response Information System, which enables school officials to issue hundreds of voice, text and email notifications simultaneously.

Asked if having bomb threats on consecutive days had occurred before in Bangor schools, Webb said, “Not in my time here. This has been very unfortunate, very disruptive.”

Webb said school officials are working closely with city police to identify who was behind the threats.

As a precaution, members of the Bangor Police Department who serve as school resource officers will be at Doughty School on Friday.

Bangor police said that making a bomb threat is a Class C felony. Web said students who engage in making bomb threats are subject to various levels of discipline, including expulsion by the school committee.

In her alert to parents, Web asked students, parents or others who might have information about who was involved in the threats to contact Doughty School Principal Robert MacDonald at 941-6220.


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