April 04, 2020

Threat of bomb cancels classes > No explosive devices found in Thomaston

THOMASTON — A handwritten bomb threat deposited in the Georges Valley High School library book drop prompted administrators to cancel classes Monday.

No explosive devices were found.

The book drop had been checked Monday morning, but the note was not found until it was checked again, about 9:45 a.m., according to Georges Valley High School Principal William Hart.

As soon as the finding was reported to the school office, the building was evacuated and the local police and fire departments responded, SAD 50 Superintendent John Dirnbauer said.

According to a source, the message read: “A bomb will go off in this school sometime this week. This is note joke.”

Police Sgt. Kevin Haj said the message was something to that effect and “spelling wasn’t a plus.”

Thomaston police and fire personnel checked the building while waiting for Maine State Police Trooper Sharon Roy and her bomb-sniffing dog, Zoe, to arrive.

According to Dirnbauer, authorities checked the cafeteria first, in an effort to ensure that food could be prepared and delivered for other district schools.

Students and staff waited outside the Williams-Brazier American Legion for an hour or so, until it was decided to cancel school because of the wait for the bomb-sniffing dog. After-school activities and sports were also called off.

Dirnbauer said the 327 students and 36 staff members would have to make up the lost time.

“We’ll be making this time up somehow,” Dirnbauer said. “We can’t be held hostage by this kind of action.”

The superintendent did commend the students for their cooperation during the waiting period outdoors and said that many of the students were upset that someone would do something like this.

School was scheduled to open today with a student assembly set to discuss the situation, Dirnbauer said.

The state trooper and bomb-sniffing dog completed a search of the building at about 1:45 p.m., with no findings.

According to Haj, the misdemeanor penalty for making a false public alarm is more than one year in jail, but less than three years.

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