MDI principal talks about school going on lockdown after threat

Published: Nov. 3, 2022 at 6:25 PM EDT
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MOUNT DESERT ISLAND, Maine (WABI) - We’re learning more about what happened when MDI High School went into lockdown Tuesday -- and what school leaders are taking away from it.

Students are back Thursday after school was cancelled Wednesday.

Bar Harbor police apprehended a person identified as making a serious and credible threat Tuesday afternoon.

Principal Matthew Haney spoke to us about what happened the day his school went into lockdown.

“What everybody in this building on Tuesday went through was very traumatic, very upsetting, and it’s going to take a while to recover from,” said Haney.

He says it was an extremely difficult day and they had an incredible response from law enforcement.

“People were behind closed doors almost immediately. The police department, local police showed up, working on checking everything out. And then we went through our protocols for clearing the rooms, the building, one room at a time, which that’s the piece that takes a long time. And through their protocols, they wanted to make sure, make 100% sure that everything was safe before sending people off to the reunification site. So, that was one of the things that it seems like it took, well, it did take a very long time. And that’s the way those that those practices have to happen,” said Haney.

They were able to use a nearby school as a reunification point for students and parents with help from bus drivers.

Haney stresses the importance of parents making sure they have updated info in their school text message alert system.

“One of the things that helped us is we have on paper, in a number of areas, we have our safety plans on paper, all set for each different type of crisis, we may encounter. I am just so proud of the efforts to keep our children and our educators safe in our community, in particular, and the community of educators around Maine,” said Haney.

We asked Haney about using social media to alert parents about a lockdown situation.

He says they rely more on the text alert system because they don’t know who will be able to access a computer during an emergency situation.

Counselors have been available for students.