Gardiner Area High School Closed Due To Threat
Gardiner Area High School was closed early today (Jan. 19) due to a threatening message received at the school.
According to the school's website, the school closed at 10:40AM and all school activities were cancelled for the day.
"The phone threat claimed that bombs were in the high school building and would detonate within thirty minutes," said MSAD 11 Superintendent Pat Hopkins in a message posted on the school's website. "The message then stated that in addition to the bombs, firearms would be used after the bombs. As soon as the call ended, law enforcement was called and assisted school administration with handling this situation. The Gardiner Police arrived within a few minutes and were on the scene to assess the threat and help safely dismiss staff and students. Shortly after noon, a team of bomb dogs arrived from the Maine State Police to inspect the building with the Gardiner Police Department and found no evidence of the threat."
Hopkins said the incident is being investigated by the Gardiner Police Department and the Maine Computer Crimes Task Force. In the same message on the school's website, Gardiner Police Chief James Toman said investigators believed the threat came from out of state.
“At this point in time, we believe that the automated phone call the school received was a phishing message that originates from California," he said. "All indications lead us to believe the call is a widespread hoax.”