CONWAY — Kennett High School officials are working with local and state police as well as the FBI after the administration learned Monday afternoon about a bomb threat that was made to the school that day. The threatening message was found on a computer at the school located at the top of Eagles Way in North Conway.
The threat was for Friday, Dec. 13, at 1:20 p.m., according to a press release issued by Conway Police Lt. Chris Mattei after parents were notified by phone and email.
“Precautionary measures are being taken, including the use of bomb-sniffing dogs, to clear the Kennett High School facility, and there will be increased police presence,” School Superintendent Kevin Richard told the Sun on Monday afternoon.
Richard said that administration members were working closely with state and federal forensics teams as well as the school technology department in order to determine which computer and classroom were used to create the threat.
Richard said the message was discovered by a student on an unassigned computer, after which the administration was notified.
After that discovery was made, “we canceled after-school activities and called in the police,” said Richard. “We sent out our parent (alert) via our voicemail system as well as via email to parents who have signed up for that.”
Other than the cancellation of after-school activities, Richard said there was no disruption to students’ normal schedules.
He said that the threat was discovered just after 1 p.m. and students end their classes at 2:20 p.m. each day.
“The announcement went out at 2:15 p.m., after which students left the campus,” said Richard.
In the parents’ message, Richard said: “Please talk with your children about this incident.”
He added in a statement to the perpetrator: “If this was not intended to be a threat or cause harm, please come forward immediately to resolve this issue because we would like to know that as well.”
Richard said it was the first “real threat at the high school in quite a while to rise to this level.”
In September, a small homemade device blew up in the back of a pickup parked at Kennett High School, Principal Kevin Carpenter reported in a memo to parents this fall.
Carpenter said the incident was believed to be a prank and that school resource officer Richard Gaudreau and staff responded immediately. They determined that that no individuals were targeted, according to Carpenter, adding that the student responsible was identified.
About a year ago, dual lockdowns at Kennett High and Kennett Middle took place that also forced staff and students at SAU 9 elementary schools to “shelter in place.” The Dec. 5, 2018, incidents were triggered by people inadvertently hitting alarm buttons, school officials said.
Regarding Monday’s threat, anyone with pertinent information is asked to contact Conway Police Department at (603) 356-5715.