A male Windham High School student has been suspended after sending out a tweet Tuesday that said the administration was “asking to be the next Columbine,” a reference to a mass shooting at a Colorado high school that left 13 dead.

Superintendent Sanford Prince said an adult education student told a teacher about the tweet Tuesday at about 5:30 p.m., and the teacher immediately notified Prince and the police. Windham police said they found the student, talked to him and his parents and confirmed he had no access to weapons.

“We move on it as fast as we can,” Prince said Wednesday. “You hope that indeed there’s nothing behind this that has any truth, but we’ve been trained to take it seriously.”

Because of student confidentiality rules, Prince would not identify the student other than to say he attended Windham High School. He is not in the adult education program.

Windham schools have been the subject of threats before.

Last year, a 16-year-old Windham boy, Justin Woodbury, served six months in a juvenile facility for sending threatening emails in December 2014 that prompted officials to close RSU 14 schools for three days.


The student who tweeted the threat has not been charged, but police are forwarding their report to the district attorney to determine whether charges will be pursued, said Windham Police Chief Kevin Shofield.

“The tweets did not necessarily rise to the level where someone should be charged with a crime but we’re in the process of putting our report together,” he said.

A spokesman from the Cumberland County District Attorney’s Office did not return a call seeking comment.

The tweet, sent at 12:48 p.m. Tuesday, read: “If administration at Windham High continues to treat students the way they are, they’re asking to be the next Columbine.” A second tweet said the writer “understood why schools get shot up,” Schofield said.

The 1999 shooting at Columbine High School was one of the first mass shootings at a school.

Prince said police and school officials were continuing to investigate, and the student could face expulsion.


Prince said he notified the school board, and the principal sent out a note to students and parents Tuesday night.

The high school, which has a police resource officer at all times, had an additional police officer there Wednesday.

Principal Chris Howell sent two more emails to parents Wednesday, saying the school was operating normally.

“We had a great start to the school day today,” Howell wrote in one, adding that the student involved was not at school. “The building continues to remain a safe and welcoming place for our entire school community.”

Howell said Wednesday that the student would be out of school until “disciplinary issues are resolved.”

Howell said the student’s tweets were not related to any pattern of behavior or larger schoolwide issue.

“It was confined to an individual event that had happened during that school day and it was the individual reacting to that,” Howell said.


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