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Police presence at Windham schools following Internet threat

By April Guilmet, Union Leader Correspondent
December 21. 2012 9:48AM

WINDHAM - Windham's schools will have additional police presence on Friday after a school board member received news of an threat made over the Internet, believed to be against the local school district, late Thursday night.

Superintendent Henry LaBranche said it's unclear at this point if the threat is a credible one, but he's not taking any chances.

'This week we've already been on high alert,' he said on Friday morning. 'Today, we'll have police detail at each school for the entire day.'

School officials learned of the threat at around 9:20 p.m. Thursday evening, when the principal of a parochial school in Willimantic, Conn. contacted a School Board member.

LaBranche said the Connecticut school district, which is also known as Windham, received threats via Twitter, but school officials there were later told 'that the threat was intended for Windham, New Hampshire.'

By 10 p.m. Thursday night, both the FBI and the NH state police had been notified, and the incident is now under investigation.

'We immediately put our emergency plan into place,' said the superintendent.

The exact nature of the threat wasn't revealed, LaBranche added.

'There are a bunch of 'unknowns' right now. But we're being very cautious,' he stressed.

Parents were notified of the incident by email last night. Attendance at Windham High School on Friday morning was 68% of students enrolled, attendance at the middle school was only 60%, according to LaBranche.

Police have already been visible at the district's schools this week in the wake of the deadly shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Windham Police have been making 'rolling patrols' at each school since Monday and school administrators have been taking a closer look at each school's security measures.

During Monday's school day, the high school was briefly placed on lockdown after several school employees reported hearing 'a loud bang' inside the school that morning.

Police and fire officials conducted a sweep of the entire facility, though Police Chief Gerald Lewis said 'nothing out of the ordinary' was found.

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