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Threats reported at Timberlane, Sanborn Regional High Schools

Union Leader Correspondent

April 20. 2018 11:05PM

PLAISTOW — Police stepped up security on the campus of Timberlane Regional High School as a precaution Friday following an investigation into reports of an alleged threat against students and staff.

Some students chose to stay home after Superintendent Dr. Earl Metzler announced Thursday night that the administration had learned about a “potential threat” to the safety of students and staff at the high school.

Metzler said Friday that he received multiple phone calls from parents and others regarding rumors of a threat to the school. Police were notified, he said, but were unable to substantiate the claims.

Police Capt. Brett Morgan said it appears to be a rumor that “spun out of control.”

“We have not been able to locate anyone who can validate any of the rumor, or trace any element of a threat back to a confirmed or credible source,” Morgan said.

The captain confirmed the reports involved a former student.

Metzler said he feels social media blew the rumors “out of control.”

Still, police and school officials decided to take precautions by increasing police presence on Friday, the 19th anniversary of the massacre at Columbine High School in Colorado.

Metzler said student attendance for the day was down about 25 percent. While he was aware that some students were concerned and decided not to come, he said others had left on vacation early since April break is next week.

Morgan said that in addition to the school resource officer, patrol officers were directed to conduct extra patrols in the area of the high school and middle school and make additional visits to the schools to assist.

Metzler said the visible police presence would continue next week as well because of sporting events being held at the school during vacation.

“Even though we’re on vacation we’ll continue to take precautions for the foreseeable future,” he said.

The Timberlane Regional School District wasn’t the only one investigating reports of possible threats this week.

Sanborn Regional High School in Kingston also notified police Wednesday after receiving a report that a student may have threatened to harm people at the school. The report prompted an investigation and brought additional officers to the school on Thursday. Kingston Police Chief Donald Briggs Jr. said charges are pending in the incident.

On Friday afternoon, Sanborn Superintendent Thomas Ambrose issued a message saying that a second incident involving a different student had occurred and was unrelated to the report earlier in the week.

In his message, Ambrose said the student threat was directed at classmates and a teacher.

“Staff, students and law enforcement have responded quickly and appropriately. It is important to note that both situations this week involved verbal threats. There has been no immediate danger to staff or students. We will always take statements concerning safety very seriously and respond accordingly,” Ambrose said in his message. 

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