Students React to Early Dismissal Due to Threat



Posted on MSAD 1 Facebook page around 3pm on Thursday, January 2.

Carly Guerrette, Staff

Posted on the MSAD 1 Facebook page around 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, January 2.
Posted on MSAD 1 Facebook page around 3pm on Thursday, January 2.

On January 2 all SAD 1 schools were dismissed early due to a specific threat made via email to the PIHS principal, Dave Bartlett. Local law enforcement including the Presque Isle Police Department, the Aroostook County Sheriff’s office and Homeland Security are involved in the investigation.

According to WAGM and the Presque Isle Police department: “On January 2, 2020 at 0807 the Presque Isle Police Department was made aware of an on-going incident at Presque Isle High School.” 

WAGM went on to report, “Last evening, around 1900 hours, Principal, Dave Bartlett, received an email threatening a school shooting for January 2, 2020 if certain criteria are not met. As a precautionary measure to ensure the safety of all staff and students, all SAD #1 schools dismissed students as of 0930 this morning.”

No one expected this abrupt end to the routine of the first day back from the holiday vacation. “Nothing like this has really ever happened so it caught me by surprise,” said Julia Blake ‘22.

Students had many different reactions to how Thursday’s early dismissal went. “I don’t do well with spontaneous, especially not with something as serious as a threat, along with everyone unsure of what the threat really was,” said Allison Himes ‘20. “I feel as though the school handled it well. I appreciated all of the teachers making sure that everyone had rides home and made it out of the school safely. How much our teachers care show how great Presque Isle High School is even in the face of challenge.” 

“It was alarming to hear Karen’s announcement this morning for the early dismissal,” said Riley Davis ’21. “Nobody knew what was happening and it was scary.”

Taylor Marson ’23 added, “I was very alarmed, and I never would expect this to happen. I think the school did a good job at making sure everyone was safe.”

According to the most recent message from Superintendent Ben Greenlaw some precautions have been put into place for the return to school on Friday January 3:  the police presence at each school will be higher for the next couple of days and upperclassmen won’t be able to leave for lunch. “It saddens me that we have to take precautions to ensure everyone’s safety but it’s necessary,” wrote Greenlaw.