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Merrimack Valley

December 8, 2012

Police gave OK to announce alleged school threat


The Police Department said Friday afternoon there were “technical difficulties” with the first School Department automated call, sent on a system called Connect-ED, and that a second and third message had been sent.

Superintendent Judith Scannell said Friday that Butze-Maille was pulled out of class Thursday soon after the threat was reported and interviewed by Associate Principal Richard Barden.

“The student, when this occurred, was taken out of the class,” Scannell said. “He then spent the next hour or so with his associate principal. He never left the associate principal ever.”

Solomon and Scannell said they could not talk about many of the details because of an ongoing police investigation and an impoundment order from Lawrence District Court Judge Michael Brooks. But Butze-Maille was arrested at some point Thursday.

Evan Chaisson, the School Committee vice chairman, said Friday that he was informed around midnight Friday, but thought it would have been too late to send out an automated message. “We just got the official report from the police department at that time,” he said. “We wanted to make sure had the correct information before we rushed a call out to 2,000 parents.”

The calls and the police department posting happened early Friday morning. At the same time, the high school informed students the intercom. Butze-Maille was arraigned in Lawrence District Court at about 12:45 p.m., where he was held at least until his next hearing scheduled for Jan. 4. At about 2:45, Scannell and Solomon held a press conference with newspaper and TV reporters at the Quinn Building on Hampshire Street.

At the same time, the police department posted a brief update assuring parents the automated phone messages were sent out and Butze-Maille was in custody.

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