PARIS —A mother angry over what she says is the Oxford Hills School District’s failure to address bullying on a school van was arrested Friday, charged with terrorizing after threatening to ram her car into the Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School.

According to Paris police Chief Michael Dailey, her threat prompted school officials to put the high school on lockdown.

Aranka Matolcsy, 54, of Paris was arrested and charged with terrorizing after making multiple threatening statements to school officials and later posting a threat on social media that she may have to resort to ramming the high school to get school officials’ attention.

Following her arrest, she told the Advertiser Democrat that she had tried for weeks to resolve a problem with her special needs’ child being bullied on the school bus before resorting to the threats.

According to Dailey, Matolcsy, who was “upset over transportation issues involving her child and the district, told two separate staff members at the district office she would drive her vehicle into the high school to get ‘everyone’s attention.'”

Matolcsy followed up these conversations with a social media post, asking, “If I drive my car into the side of the high school do you think it’ll be enough of a PR nightmare for transportation to take me seriously when I say I’m absolutely desperate for … to have a safe and appropriate ride?'”

Advertisement

According to Dailey, the post was later deleted.

Matolcsy, who was taken into custody by Maine State Police while she was in Dixfield, was transported to the Oxford County Jail where she posted $100 cash bail and was released Friday. She was charged with terrorizing, a Class C felony punishable by up to five years in jail and a $5,000 fine, and is scheduled to be in court in Paris at 1 p.m. March 9. According to a corrections officer at the jail, she is barred from returning to the high school and is not to contact any staff.

Reached for comment Friday, SAD 17 Superintendent Heather Manchester said in a statement to the Advertiser Democrat, “There was a threat reported that was checked out and taken care of. There was a working lockdown while it was investigated.”

Asked about Matolcsy being arrested, Manchester said she could not comment on actions taken by police.

Following her arrest, Matolcsy sent a written statement to the Advertiser Democrat, saying “This is the second year that my child has faced the same bully.”

In November, she said, there was a change in both the transportation van and the driver, and it took her “a couple of weeks to realize that this change caused a sudden eruption in my child of violent behavior and severe opposition to school. He went from enthusiastically looking forward to getting on the van and going to school every morning, to punching me in the face, kicking and screaming to not get on the van,” she said.

Advertisement

Matolcsy’s child has Down syndrome, autism spectrum disorder and attention deficit disorder and is unable to verbally express when he feels threatened, she explained. His only effective communications are to declare “no” and resist a threat.

In December, according to Matolcsy, she saw that the child who had previously bullied her son in school and who had been separated from him by school officials was again harassing him on the van.

“I immediately questioned the van driver why I had not been notified of the obvious behavior problems on the van,” she wrote. “I reported this to the transportation service and the school district on Dec. 22. Between that date and Jan. 13, I emailed, called, and texted (SAD 17’s) special education director, the bus garage director, the transportation service director, my son’s teachers and ed tech, and our third party case manager over a dozen times to express my inability to continue transporting and my desperation to get him to and from school safely.”

According to Matolcsy, after the high school was placed in lockdown she spoke with law enforcement and agreed she would go to the Paris Police Department to be charged after she completed a work commitment. Instead, she was arrested by State Police an hour away from home.

“I had to leave my elderly dog who was forced to freeze in my locked car for four hours,” she said. “I came back to her being held by a stranger after they broke into my car to get her out.

“As a 54-year-old woman with absolutely no criminal history, who has worked in a capacity of service and advocacy in (the Oxford Hills) community for most of her life, this entire situation is horrifying. It is a blatant example of the brokenness of systems intended to protect the most vulnerable,” Matolcsy said in her statement.

“There’s a much larger story here than anyone knows about my relationship with the school district. In time my story will come out with details and evidence of systematic failures within this school district that led to this outcome,” she said.

“I am absolutely horrified by what happened for everyone involved, but most of all for my child,” she said.

Following the arrest, Matolcsy posted that she has been barred from having contact with any school district personnel, and that her bail bond prohibited her from transporting her child to or from his school.

Comments are not available on this story.