Gov. Paul LePage insisted Wednesday that a school resource officer told him a high school student from the Portland area overdosed and was revived three times in a week.

A Portland official maintains that nothing like that has happened within the city.

Speaking at a town hall meeting in Bangor on Wednesday, LePage apologized for getting the location wrong, saying the third overdose was at Deering Oaks, not at Deering High School. But the governor insisted the rest of the story was accurate, although he identified the student as “in the Portland area,” not a student from Deering High School, as he previously said. LePage also said Wednesday in a video taken by WLBZ, media partner of the Portland Press Herald, that it occurred in the bathroom of the student’s home, not a school bathroom, and that once he’d been revived the third time, the student proceeded to class.

LePage first recounted the story at a town hall meeting in Lewiston at the beginning of May, saying that a Deering High student went to class after being administered a drug that reverses the effects of an opiate overdose for the third time in a week. Portland’s acting Superintendent Jeanne Crocker immediately disputed it.

LePage, who was using the anecdote to explain his opposition to expanding access to the drug, known as Narcan or naloxone, reiterated the story again on Maine Public Broadcasting this week. Portland Police Chief Michael Sauschuck responded that Deering High’s school resource officer, Steve Black, told LePage about an overdose in Deering Oaks park that did not involve a student.Asked Wednesday about LePage’s revised version of the story, city spokeswoman Jessica Grondin said the school resource officer told LePage only about an adult being revived from an overdose in Deering Oaks park.

She said the Portland department has administered Narcan to teenagers only twice, once to a 17-year-old and once to a 19-year-old, according to call records.


Spokespeople for LePage did not respond to emails Wednesday night asking whether the student may have been from a district outside the city.

LePage told the slightly revised story Wednesday evening to an audience at the William S. Cohen School in Bangor, saying a school resource officer he’d spoken to had given chest compressions and administered a shot of Narcan to a high school student who had already received the overdose drug twice that week.

“I thought it was the bathroom in the school, it turns out it was his bathroom at home. But the fact of the matter is, it was a high school student who had three Narcan shots in one week,” he said.

“You didn’t see any outrage by newspapers going there. You saw the outrage that I said it was Deering High School instead of Deering Oaks,” he said. “I apologize for that.”

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