SOUTH PORTLAND — A Mahoney Middle School student was charged with terrorizing after allegedly making threats against the school and other students last week.

The eighth-grader, who is 14 years old, received a summons for one count of misdemeanor terrorizing Wednesday morning, police Lt. Frank Clark said.

“There is no indication that any other students were involved, or that the school or any student was ever in any imminent danger,” Clark said in a written statement.

The threats expressed last Thursday were upsetting enough that a few students decided to stay home from school on Friday, Clark said.

The case will be referred to the Juvenile Community Corrections Office for further consideration and resolution, Clark said. Police will release no further information about the student or the incident because it’s a juvenile matter, he said.

Superintendent Ken Kunin said the student “remains suspended at this time. As we move forward we will work at all times to ensure the safety of the school and meet the needs of our students.”


The South Portland case mirrors recent similar incidents in SAD 6, the Bonny Eagle school district, which serves Buxton, Hollis, Limington, Standish and Frye Island.

South Portland school officials and police learned on the afternoon of Feb. 28 that the student allegedly made threats against the school and other students that day. The school suspended the student while police investigated to determine the nature and level of the threat to the community and whether a crime had been committed.

“I would like to highlight and commend the students who came forward and did the right thing by reporting their concerns,” Clark said. “We all must take these sorts of statements and reports seriously.”

While the exact substance of the student’s threats hasn’t been described, Principal Carrie Stilphen told the school community that no weapon or written list of targets had been found.

“At no point in the investigation has it been said that a weapon was in school, or that a student was in possession of a weapon,” Stilphen wrote in an email Sunday. “While this student talked about having a list, it was never said to be written out and no one has shared that they have seen a list.”

Clark said Maine law defines misdemeanor terrorizing as a threat to commit or cause violence that would endanger human life and places others in “reasonable fear that the crime will be committed.”


The Juvenile Community Corrections Office is part of the Maine Department of Corrections and handles all juvenile cases referred by police agencies. Its staff decides either to refer cases to a district attorney’s office for prosecution or to resolve them informally through a restorative justice process, in which a young offender typically admits wrongdoing and carries out an agreement to make amends with those harmed.

“Maine’s juvenile system is generally aimed toward rehabilitation, as opposed to punishment,” Clark said.

Kelley Bouchard can be contacted at 791-6328 or at:

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