Students returned to Geiger Elementary School in Lewiston about noon Wednesday after being evacuated from the building when someone called in a bomb threat.

Lewiston Police Lt. Michael McGonagle said police swept the building and found nothing following the 9:20 a.m. telephone threat. Parents were notified electronically, and some chose to pick up their children.

All other children were dismissed at the usual time, the school department said.

McGonagle said he did not know whether the call, which was placed to the school office, was made by an individual or was computer-generated.

Robotic calls have been used recently to deliver bomb threats, including one at the Cape Elizabeth Middle School on March 22. No threat was discovered in that case.

The Lewiston incident follows a wave of apparently coordinated threats made Monday, when schools across 17 states were evacuated because of similar or identical threats. In Maine, the Hall-Dale Middle and High School in Farmingdale were evacuated for about three hours Monday.

Lewiston Superintendent Bill Webster said he deemed the threat credible, but could not recall the exact words used during the call.

Police have interviewed the school employee who answered the phone, Webster said.

This was the first threat in Lewiston this year that has triggered an evacuation, he said.

Given the threats against schools nationwide, Webster said he and others will likely re-evaulate their response to such calls.

“This is a real difficult area,” Webster said. “Sometimes students may well be at more risk outside of the building than inside.”

But, he said, “given the nature of the call, it seemed prudent and I agreed with the decision to immediately evacuate the building.”

The school has about 800 students and staff.

Matt Byrne can be contacted at 791-6303 or at:

[email protected]


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