Following the deadly shooting Friday at a high school in Texas, two schools in Maine took precautionary measures Monday in response to reports of a threat and an overheard conversation that raised concerns.

At Baxter Academy in Portland, administrators called police to report a threatening message found in a bathroom. Police responded and students were evacuated at 1:46 p.m., a short time before they typically would be dismissed for the day, according to Portland police Lt. Robert Martin.

Officers searched the building and determined by about 3 p.m. that there was no threat. No one was arrested or charged, and the investigation continues, Martin said.

Earlier in the day, Lewiston High School was briefly locked down at the request of the Lewiston Police Department, but the superintendent said there was no incident at the school.

A public notice of the lockdown came from a tweet by Lewiston Schools Superintendent Bill Webster at 10:20 a.m.

By 10:56 a.m., the lockdown was over, according to a follow-up tweet by Webster.

Lewiston police said there was no specific threat. The lockdown originated with a report about 9:30 a.m. Monday by a person who overheard a conversation between two other people who were walking near the school, said Lt. Dave St. Pierre. The conversation caused concern, and the third person reported it to the police.

“We don’t know the context of the conversation or who made (the comments),” St. Pierre said. “We’re obviously seeking that person.”

St. Pierre said police are cautious in response to such tips, especially after the recent school shootings in Florida and Texas.

“With the proximity to the school and the climate, we are more diligent with it because of school shootings happening around the country,” he said.

The school put in place a “soft” lockdown, he said, in which classes and school activities continued as usual but the buildings were secured and parents were notified of the situation.

“We’re continuing to look into it and hopefully will find the person involved in this conversation to ascertain what was said,” St. Pierre said.

The threats come after another deadly school shooting, this time in Santa Fe, Texas, where a student opened fire Friday, killing 10 people and wounding 13.

Following the shooting in February in Parkland, Florida, schools around Maine received repeated threats of violence, interrupting classes and sometimes leading to the cancellation of classes.

 

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