June 19, 2018
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Student issued summons for allegedly distributing cartoon that spurred lockdown at Millinocket high school

Nick Sambides Jr. | BDN
Nick Sambides Jr. | BDN
A May 2013 file photo of Stearns High School.
By Nick Sambides Jr., BDN Staff

MILLINOCKET, Maine — A 14-year-old junior high school student will be referred to juvenile authorities after police issued her a summons for allegedly distributing a cartoon that led Stearns High School officials to lock down classrooms last month, police said Thursday.

The student, who was not identified because she is a juvenile, was issued a summons for Class C felony terrorizing on Monday. She is due in Millinocket District Court to answer the summons on Aug. 6, Deputy Police Chief Janet Theriault said.

Stearns Vice Principal Chris Preble had alerted police and ordered classroom doors be locked on June 13 after school workers had found the cartoon. The cartoon contained the words “Kill People, Burn” and “School” mixed with expletives, Theriault has said.

The words with the “cartoon-type character” on the flier are lyrics taken from the song “Radicals” by Tyler the Creator. He is “a controversial rapper and record producer from California whose music is said to be caustic and filled with violence,” Theriault has said.

An Internet search of the song revealed lyrics laced with expletives and anti-educational statements. The lyrics include the line, “They want us to go to they schools and be [expletive] miserable at they [expletive] college, studying that [expletive], [expletive] that. Do what the [expletive] makes you happy, cause at the end, who’s there? You.”

The song also contains lyrics cautioning against committing crimes. Theriault said that police must take these incidents seriously even if the student involved had no intent of harming other students.

“The actions of the student caused alarm, placed others in fear and was also cause for restricted movement in the building,” Theriault said.

“Keep in mind that the resources of four law-enforcement agencies” — Millinocket and East Millinocket police, Maine Warden Service and state police — came to the school or were called off en-route, he added.

“These incidents come at a price,” Theriault said.

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