PETERBOROUGH — Online threats made on social media sites prompted Contoocook Valley Regional School District officials to suddenly cancel all classes for Wednesday before the scheduled start of school.
“Closing school is never an easy decision; however, our number one priority is the safety of students and staff,” said Superintendent Kimberly Saunders.
Schools will reopen Thursday, after police determined there is no ongoing threat.
Saunders got word from Peterborough police around 6 a.m. Wednesday about the potential threat, first reported by a concerned parent.
“Peterborough police shared that they were informed by a parent that she had become aware of an online threat to the ConVal school community,” Saunders said.
The exact nature of the threat is unknown, but the threats were allegedly made against people at the high school. Students were already on buses when the decision was made to cancel school for the day at 6:40 a.m. The buses turned around and brought those students home.
Police from Peterborough, Bennington and Antrim are actively investigating the threat. They are also interviewing a number of students allegedly involved in the threats, Saunders said.
Police executed search warrants on Wednesday for personal property and social media accounts of the students allegedly involved. While police determined there is no ongoing threat, a visible police presence is expected Thursday at schools in the district.
ConVal is made up of Peterborough, Antrim, Bennington, Dublin, Francestown, Greenfield, Hancock, Sharon and Temple, and the district has 10 schools, including the regional high school.
Last month, police in nearby New Ipswich reportedly investigated a student “hit list” found at Mascenic Regional High School. A Mascenic student put three other students on the list, including two high school students and a middle school student.
The list-making student was removed from the school, according to a letter sent out by Mascenic Principal John Barth.
“Disciplinary action has followed which has included a mental health threat assessment used to determine the seriousness of this incident,” Barth wrote.