Police were called to Spruce Mountain schools twice last week after threatening notes were found June 2 and 3. Thursday afternoon vehicles from Jay Police Department and Maine State Police are seen in front of the middle school. The officers and bomb sniffing dogs determined the bomb threat found in a bathroom stall in the school was a hoax. Pam Harnden/Livermore Falls Advertiser

JAY— All students were released early Thursday, June 2, and students at the middle and high schools were in lockdown for part of Friday after threatening notes were found.

The lockdown at Spruce Mountain middle and high schools was lifted later Friday morning and a 13-year-old girl was charged with terrorizing, officials said.

“The police have found the suspect and are dealing with them appropriately,” Superintendent Scott Albert wrote in an email around 10:30 a.m. regarding the incident on Friday. “We are out of lockdown at both the middle school and high schools and we will continue with our day.”

The girl is a student at the middle school, which is connected to the high school on Community Drive.

Officials did not disclose the contents of the note Friday nor where it was found.

The girl was taken into custody and charged with terrorizing, Jay Police Chief Richard Caton IV wrote in an email. She was released to a guardian, with conditions, and is under house arrest, Caton said later. The case will go to the juvenile court system, he said.


“The most important thing to remember is that we kept our kids safe,” Albert said in an automated notice sent Friday afternoon. “We were able to do so by following our safety protocols and working as a team with our [school resource officer and the Jay Police Department]. Also because of our team work, we were able to find today’s suspect.”

Just before 9 a.m., Albert sent an automated notice, saying, “Out of an abundance of caution, the middle school and high schools are in lockdown based on a note that was found. Our [school resource officer] and [Jay Police Department] are already in the the buildings. We will update once we get more information.”

The fifth grade drama program from the elementary school was at the middle school at the time, a parent told the Livermore Falls Advertiser in a phone call a few minutes after the announcement. They were preparing to perform the play “Willy Wonka Kids.” The public performance of the play was moved to Friday night because of the threat Thursday.

“We do not believe at this time the two incidences from the past two days are directly related,” Albert’s notice continued.

Nothing suspicious was found Thursday at Spruce Mountain Middle School after a bomb threat was found earlier that day. 

Bomb sniffing dogs were seen leaving the school a little after 1:30 p.m. Thursday. Jay Police Chief Richard Caton IV and new school resource officer Joe Sage then met with Superintendent Scott Albert on the walkway between the middle and high schools.


Maine State Police Bomb Squad Commander Patrick Pescitelli, left, stands with troopers and detectives and their bomb-sniffing dogs Thursday at Spruce Mountain Middle School in Jay after a bomb threat was determined to be a hoax. From left are Trooper Shawn Porter with Kora, Detective Reid Bond with Rocco, Detective Chris Crawford with Ruckus and Trooper Jon Brown with Amos. Pam Harnden/Livermore Falls Advertiser

A note was found in a bathroom stall, nothing suspicious was found, Albert said. “We followed protocol, the middle school students were evacuated to the high school gym.”

Albert said he called Sage, who called Maine State Police to request the bomb squad dogs. He was told it would take about an hour and fifteen minutes for the dogs to arrive, Albert noted.

The dogs’ time of arrival wasn’t checked, one of the handlers said. Bomb Squad Commander Patrick Pescitelli along with four dogs and their handlers took about an hour to clear the building, it was noted. The officers were Shawn Porter and K-9 Kora from Troop K, Jon Brown and K-9 Amos from Troop K, Detective Chris Crawford and K-9 Ruckus from Major Crimes Central, and Detective Reid Bond and K-9 Rocco from Major Crimes South.

Albert said he thought about sending just the middle school students home early. The decision was made to send all students home because of busing issues and the time it would take for the dogs to arrive and then search the building, he noted. Transportation Director Norma Jackman was then called, he said.

At 2:53 p.m. another automated notice went out to staff, students and parents.

“The state police and their bomb sniffing dogs found no evidence of a bomb in the middle school,” Albert said. “It was a hoax. We will work with local law enforcement to try to find out who the perpetrator was.”


The threat was a crime and will be treated as such, he stated. It causes disturbance, stress and anxiety to staff, students and families, he noted. It also puts others at risk who might be experiencing a real emergency — and law enforcement is tied up dealing with a hoax, Albert added.

Students in all Spruce Mountain schools were released starting at 1:05 p.m.

Albert informed parents and community members just before noon.

“All middle school students have been evacuated to the [high school],” he said in the announcement. “Due to busing, all students in the district will be dismissed at 1:05 [p.m.] If you want to dismiss your middle school students from [the high school] before then please go to the back side of SMHS at the Concert entrance.

“We will keep you updated if there are any changes.”

Spruce Mountain Middle School Principal Caroline “Carrie” Luce was seen in the parking area in front of the middle school a few minutes before Albert gave his update.

“It has been such a strange school year,” she said. “Everyone is safe. That is all that matters.”

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