KENNEBUNK – Kennebunk Police and the Maine Attorney General’s Office have found no violations of law and have closed an investigation into a spate of race-based social media posts allegedly directed to a Kennebunk High School student by another student.

“The Kennebunk Police Department, working with the Investigation Division of the Maine Attorney General’s Office and cooperation with RSU 21, thoroughly investigated the incident involving alleged racial postings on social media, and found no evidence of any violations of law,” said Deputy Police Chief Michael Nugent in a statement released Friday, May 8. “During this investigation, we conducted multiple interviews, executed a search warrant, reviewed over 10,000 pages of records, and learned the identity of the sender of the comments on social media. However, based on everything we know at this time, our findings do not constitute a violation of the Maine Civil Rights Act.”

Dan King photo

Screen shot photos of the posts appeared on Facebook on Saturday, April 4. RSU 21 Interim Superintendent Phillip Potenziano said the district began an immediate investigation, and said he contacted Kennebunk Police.

“After a thorough, and comprehensive review of all investigation materials and in consultation with law enforcement, there is no evidence of any credible threat to Kennebunk High School, any group within Kennebunk High School or the greater community, or individual students,” Potenziano wrote in a letter released to the community and news media Friday, May 8. “RSU 21 administration swiftly took action to conduct a thorough and comprehensive investigation in cooperation with the Kennebunk Police Department. Through this investigation, RSU 21 was able to identify the parties involved, and appropriate school-level disciplinary and remedial action was taken. All parties involved are supportive of the outcome and the corrective action that is being utilized by the school.”

Potenziano said hate speech and harassing language are not tolerated by RSU 21 in any form or on any platform.

“My heart goes out to all of the students involved in this incident, and to those in the community impacted by this incident,” Potenziano said. “RSU 21 is committed to providing an anti-racism, respectful and inclusive space for students, staff and community members.”

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