AUGUSTA — Police say they have interviewed roughly half of the 36 Cony High School students who could have known about the first of three bomb threats at the school this month, but the nature of the threats has made them hard to solve.

Lt. Christopher Massey, of the Augusta Police Department, which is investigating the scares, spoke at a Thursday evening forum in the school’s auditorium hosted by city education officials as an opportunity for about 60 attendees to ask about the school’s handling of the June threats.

“You can’t overlook any of these,” Superintendent James Anastasio said. “You just can’t.”

The school was evacuated on June 2 and on Monday after messages about a potential bomb were left in what Massey said were two different bathroom stalls — the first in a girls’ room, the second in a boys’ room.

On Tuesday, nobody was allowed in or out of the Pierce Drive building after a student found a note that referred to a potential bomb and a shooter that Massey said was in a hallway in the Capital Area Technical Center section of the building. Each time, the building was searched by bomb-sniffing dogs and declared safe.

Massey said police have identified students who might know about the first threat, but it has been more difficult to find those who might know about the second, because it was less visible. The third scare, because it was on paper, is also difficult, he said.


Despite the short time between threats, Massey said there’s nothing indicating that they are linked, but he said he wouldn’t be surprised if investigators eventually find out that they are.

“My guess is they probably know each other,” he said of those who left the threats, “but the way they’re written, the message, what was on them was completely different.”

Since the first threat, Principal Kim Silsby said Cony staff members have reviewed emergency protocols with police and emergency management officials, asked teachers to have students sign in and out of classrooms, increased supervision of public areas and inspected bathrooms on a rotational basis.

Parents said the school’s response to the first evacuation, during which students were bused to the Augusta Civic Center, was chaotic, which Silsby admitted, saying many parents got there before children arrived and that the school has “learned some valuable lessons” in the process.

“Next time, it will be a lot different and far more smooth,” she said.

John Miller, of Augusta, the father of three students at the school, said he learned of the threats from the school’s emergency alert system, which sent text messages to his cellphone. He said it was “a little bit unnerving when you hear that over and over.”


The school sent a letter to parents and guardians summarizing the threats and their responses to them on Wednesday, and Miller said he would have liked to have seen something like that earlier. But he said the threats are hopefuly “behind us.”

“The school is learning from the process,” Miller said, “and that’s the best that you can expect.”

Michael Shepherd — 370-7652

[email protected]

Twitter: @mikeshepherdme

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