December 20, 2012
Dear Parents & Guardians,
Following the Sandy Hook tragedy, all staff in the South Portland Schools undertook a comprehensive review of our emergency plans and procedures. In addition, we continue to collaborate with the South Portland Police Department to ensure the safety and security of our schools through communication and daily patrols of all of our schools.
Yesterday when word arrived of a possible Facebook threat to High Schools in Southern Maine, our immediate response was to contact the South Portland Police. Chief Googins then contacted surrounding police departments and has kept us apprised of the situation.
In a conference call today, the State Police informed local law enforcement and Superintendents that there was no credibility to the threat. In fact, no text message, Facebook message or electronic posting that speaks of a threat to any schools in Maine has been found to exist. Because of media hype and the number of resulting inquiries, the Maine Department of Public Safety and Department of Education felt it was necessary to share the attached press release.
Please know that no threats can be ignored, and all are taken seriously. We are in constant contact with the South Portland Police Department and appreciate their on-going support and advice. Chief Googins has informed me that in addition to our School Resource Officer being stationed at South Portland High School, his patrol officers will be increasing their daily patrols of all of our schools tomorrow.
We will continue to reinforce with staff our safety procedures. We also ask all parents to please check in at the school’s main office as precaution and preparedness are our best prevention. Thank you in advance for your support and cooperation in this matter.
Suzanne T. Godin, Superintendent of Schools
NEWS RELEASE from the Maine Department of Public Safety
from Spokesman Steve McCausland - 626-3811
FOR MORE INFO - COLONEL WILLIAMS - 624-7200
The Chief of the Maine State Police says his agency has found "no credible threat against any Maine school". Colonel Robert Williams said the Maine Information and Analysis Center, a division of State Police which gathers police intelligence information, worked throughout the night after receiving information Wednesday from the Maine Department of Education that had originated at some southern Maine school systems. Williams said, "State Police has not found any threats directed at Maine on Facebook, or any other social media. We have chased baseless rumors throughout the past 24 hours and found no credible threat directed at any Maine school."
A conference call with Maine law enforcement and school officials just concluded and a news conference is scheduled for 3 pm at the Gorham Police Department on local actions that have taken place responding to these rumors.
Williams stressed that his and other state agencies will continue to work with local law enforcement and education officials to process and evaluate information for the continued safety and security of Maine schools.
For more information about school safety, please see: http://www.maine.gov/doe/school-safety/sandyhook.html.