ELLSWORTH — A student has been charged with making a false report following an incident that prompted the closure of the Ellsworth schools on Thursday.
In a letter to parents Thursday, Superintendent Dan Higgins said he was notified Wednesday night by Ellsworth Police Chief Glenn Moshier that parents of an Ellsworth student had reported their child “had received a threat from another student regarding ‘shooting up the school’ on Thursday, Jan. 3.”
The letter does not state which Ellsworth school the student attends.
Ellsworth Police investigated and as of 11:30 p.m. Wednesday night, officers had not yet determined whether or not a threat had been made, according to Higgins. “Based on that information and in the interest of the safety and security of our students and staff,” the superintendent said he decided to close the schools Thursday.
By Thursday afternoon, police had determined “no threat of violence had been made” and that “the student who filed the initial claim had filed a false report,” Higgins wrote in his letter. He said police have charged the student with false public alarm or report. The school administration will conduct its own investigation and determine what discipline may be necessary under school policy.
While the report was deemed false, Higgins said he appreciated that the parents reported what they heard from their child to the police. He thanked Moshier, School Resource Officer Amie Torrey and Sgt. Chad Wilmot for their work investigating the possible threat.
Many Ellsworth parents were confused by the school cancellation Thursday morning, with some attributing the closure to the snowy weather. Higgins said he appreciated parents’ “understanding that this communication could not be sent until such time as the investigation was completed and the situation resolved.”
He said school will be in session as scheduled Friday, Jan. 4.