Hoax calls at 10 Maine schools last month shook up parents and other school leaders across the region, with some schools now considering new safety precautions and other measures. 

Principal Mark Tinkham spoke at the Hallowell-based Regional School Unit 2 board meeting on Dec. 1 and said that even though Hall-Dale High School in Farmingdale didn’t receive a hoax call, the fear generated by the event has impacted the community. 

“No one in RSU 2 was part of it, but it doesn’t mean we weren’t touched,” he said. “We had sirens screaming down the street on their way to Gardiner… This was different from any previous hoax.” 

As a result, Readfield-based Regional School Unit 38 hosted a discussion at its past couple of school board meetings about bringing on a school resource officer. 

Superintendent Jay Charette said at the Dec. 7 board of directors meeting that he, along with the board chair and vice chair, met with Lt. Chris Read and Sheriff Ken Mason with the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office to go over what having a school resource officer would entail. 

Though the district did not receive a threat on Nov. 15, RSU 38 did receive a threat in late October from a student that caused school to be canceled on Oct. 31. 


School board members had mixed reactions to bringing on a school resource officer. A few of them were hesitant to pay for the position, citing research that shows little-to-no prevention by having one in a school, but other school board members were in favor in the event there is an emergency. 

“The average response time is greater than 15 minutes,” said Dane Wing, a member of the board that has a background in law enforcement. “It’s about having someone, not to stop it, but (who) will engage” during a threat. 

The Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office would employ the resource officer and bill the school district for the time. Charette said the estimate of what a resource officer would cost to start in the district is in the $100,000 range. 

No decisions have been made by the board and at its next meeting in January, members said hope to have a representative resource officer answer questions. 

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