THORNDIKE — A suspicious odor prompted the evacuation of the Mount View school complex Wednesday afternoon, and the cause was later determined to be pepper spray released by a student in a Mount View High School classroom.

Jean Skorapa, assistant superintendent for Regional School Unit 3, said the suspicious odor was reported at roughly 2:30 p.m. As a precaution, students in the entire complex — which includes the elementary and middle schools as well — were evacuated. About 750 students vacated the complex, she said.

Parents were alerted. Students and staff members remained at the complex until emergency responders were able to identify the substance, which they did quickly, and later students and the staff were released.

School will resume as normal on Thursday, Skorapa said. RSU 3 includes the towns of Brooks, Freedom, Jackson, Knox, Liberty, Monroe, Montville, Thorndike, Troy, Unity, and Waldo

According to a news release from the Waldo County Sheriff’s Office, authorities were told that as many as 20 students at the school were affected by a chemical later identified as an over-the-counter product often used for self-defense.

Skorapa wouldn’t say how the pepper spray was brought into the school, but she said an administrative investigation will be conducted.


“We were concerned for the safety of the staff and students,” she said.

School Resource Deputy Jordan Tozier will continue the investigation.

Fire Departments from Thorndike, Unity, Montville and Liberty responded as well as state police, Waldo County Sheriff’s officers and local ambulance units.

Colin Ellis — 861-9253

[email protected]

Twitter: @colinoellis

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