Three unfounded bomb threats in eight days at Cony High School in Augusta has led some parents to keep their students at home and others to question whether the school district is communicating enough with parents.

In the latest incident, on Tuesday, an Augusta police detective already at the school investigating the first two threats was told of a new one. The written message made an external threat to the school along with the threat of a bomb like the others, Lt. Christopher Massey said. Police locked down the school between 12:35 p.m. and 1:45 p.m. while they investigated and evacuated the building afterward, he said.

All three threats were written and referred to a bomb, but police are currently investigating them as separate incidents, Massey said.

“We have to take them all seriously,” Massey said. “Whether they’re serious threats or people are meaning them jokingly, we can’t differentiate between them.”

Cony Principal Kim Silsby said in an email Tuesday to the Kennebec Journal that procedural changes have been made at the school, including asking students to sign in and out of classrooms and staff members increasing their presence in public areas.

“Whenever a school has a threat, the learning is disrupted,” Silsby said. “Teachers and staff are doing their best to keep our learning community as normal as possible.”

Silsby and Superintendent James Anastasio did not return calls for comment Wednesday.

In response to the threats, the School Department is holding a public forum at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the high school to discuss the issue.

Parents have been discussing the threats on the school district’s Facebook page and in the Friends of Augusta Schools Facebook group, many expressing frustration with school officials for not providing more information.

Some parents commenting on posts wanted to know why students were locked inside the school Tuesday instead of being immediately evacuated, and others asked about what’s being done to prevent future incidents. Several said they kept their children home Wednesday because they were scared to attend.

Heather Hinkley said her eighth-grade son stayed home from Cony on Wednesday, and she wasn’t sure if he would be going to school Thursday. She said she wants to attend the meeting to find out more, but she’ll be at her younger son’s graduation at Hussey Elementary.

Hinkley and her husband, Randy Hinkley Jr., tried calling the school and the district after Tuesday’s threat to ask what was being done to keep students safe, but they never heard back, she said. If she had spoken with someone, she said, she might have sent her son to school Wednesday.

“Are we just supposed to throw them back in school today,” she asked, “and just say, ‘Oh, you’ll be fine’?”