For two days while Auburn was under a shelter-in-place order, Jennifer Frazier’s 11-year-old son would check in with her throughout the day asking if gunman Robert Card had been captured, according to Frazier. They made sure that all doors and windows were locked, blinds were closed and the lights were dim. At home he felt safe.

When he learned that Card had been located and was no longer a threat to the community, he felt relief, Frazier said. But he is still decompressing from emotions surrounding the shooting at Just-In-Time Recreation and Schemengees Bar and Grille Restaurant, where 18 people lost their lives.

He is excited that he can go into public again and is looking forward to being out of the house, she said. It felt similar to shutdowns caused by the pandemic when everyone was required to stay home in 2020.

Frazier tried to explain the situation to him in an age-appropriate way and she let him watch media briefs on the situations because he wanted to stay informed, she said. As he gets ready to head back to Walton Elementary School, she is trying to teach him to be mindful of other students, particularly younger ones who might not be old enough to handle a lot of the events surrounding the incident.

She admits that it can be difficult for a fifth grader to discern what type of information is appropriate to discuss in school, she said. She has turned to online resources to help her handle the situation as a parent because this is all new territory to her.

One of the best ways to help her son’s mental health is to implement normal structure and discipline, she said. Going back to school is one of the best ways to do that, adding that time with his friends is also important for his mental health.


Auburn Schools Superintendent Cornelia Brown also thinks that getting kids back in school will help their mental health, she said. As a lifelong Mainer, she never expected that the state would be thrust into the chaos of a mass shooting event.

Routines are predictable and if students know what will happen then it makes them feel safer, she said. “Getting kids back into what is familiar and what they know, we’ve been told will help,” she said.

School Department staff started working on a plan to support returning students and staff while schools were closed the Thursday and Friday after the mass shooting, she said. There will be clinicians, physicians and others in the school this week to help support students and staff still mentally reeling from the shooting.

Monday will start with a two-hour delay for students. During that time, staff will be meeting with principals about how to support students, she said. Guidance counselors have developed plans about how to talk to students in each grade level.

The school is also bringing in more substitute teachers to help cover classrooms if teachers need to step out or take some time to compose themselves, she said. The school will make accommodations for staff members who lost family or friends in the shooting.

The Lisbon School Department is still formulating its plan to support students and staff when they return Monday. Superintendent Richard Green started anticipating the worst when he first heard about the shooting. Because Lisbon is so close to Lewiston, he knew some staff and students would be impacted, he said.


He is still trying to learn the extent of that impact, trying reach out to families who knew people who died Wednesday night, he said. He knows of one student whose parent died but he suspects that there are other students and staff who lost close relatives or friends.

There will be a two-hour delay for Lisbon students on Monday, but administrators and staff will meet this weekend to put a concise plan together for the first day back, he said. There will be outside counselors and other support for students and staff.

In the meantime, Green wants parents to know that schools are fully locked during the day, with cameras in place. There are student resource officers on hand and staff are trained for emergencies.

Though he wants a sense of normalcy to return for children, it is hard to determine if students and staff will ever feel the same again, he said. “I don’t know if everyone or anyone will ever fully recover from this.”

Though Frazier has few concerns about her son’s physical safety in school, she is trying to teach him to help others if he starts feeling uneasy or anxious about this incident, she said. Whether it is something large or small, being a helper can cancel feelings of helplessness. It’s advice she would share with others, as well.

“If you can look for a way to help others, then that generally makes people feel better,” she said.

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