A 9-year-old girl from Livermore Falls has been arrested and charged with creating a false alarm for making 911 calls that forced three Jay schools in Regional School Unit 73 to go into lockdown on Wednesday, according to police.

The girl allegedly reported that someone was in Spruce Mountain Middle School in Jay with a gun.

Jay police Chief Richard Caton IV said Thursday that the case will be taken to the juvenile court system. Creating a false public alarm is a class D crime, he said.

Asked why the girl, a fourth-grader at Spruce Mountain Elementary School in Jay, made the threat, Caton said it is not clear.

“At this point, it’s still undetermined,” he said. “I don’t think she fully understands what she did and the aftermath of what she has done. … I don’t think was clear at the time of talking to her.”

Caton said this is the first time his department has dealt with someone so young in such a case.

“We’ve had no contact with her before,” he said.

He said he thinks the juvenile court system will recommend some sort of counseling for the girl, and he does not think it will involve being put in a facility.

School Superintendent Kenneth Healey said on Wednesday as police were investigating the case that the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department received a call around 8:30 a.m. reporting a person with a gun was at the middle school.

Jay police called both the middle school and Spruce Mountain High School to notify officials there of the situation and those schools were placed in lockdown mode, meaning no one could enter the buildings, he said. As a precaution, Spruce Mountain Elementary School also was placed under lockdown, Healey said.

At the time, students were being taken by bus to school an hour late because of professional development activities, so those who had not yet arrived at the schools were kept on the bus and ultimately taken to Spruce Mountain Primary School in Livermore, he said. The entrance to the high school was blocked so that students driving to school were unable to enter.

The middle and high schools were searched and officials concluded it was a hoax, according to Healey. The district was out of lockdown as of 10:50 a.m. Wednesday, according to Healey.

The school district has a safety committee that includes local law enforcement and fire officials, and it has been proactive in planning and practicing what to do in such emergencies, Healey said Wednesday.

“We’ve practiced this quite a bit,” Healey said. “In fact, the first day for teachers (Aug. 28), we had trained for an active-shooter situation, so it’s fresh in their minds. The professionalism of everyone involved I’m very proud of, especially the outside agencies that supported us.”

Caton and Healey said Wednesday after the incident that everyone worked well together to handle the situation.

Amy Calder — 861-9247

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Twitter: @AmyCalder17

 

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