Search reveals nothing after bomb scare at Portsmouth High

Search reveals nothing after bomb scare at Portsmouth High


PORTSMOUTH — The high school was searched Monday night after a custodian crew found a note referencing an “explosive device,” according to Principal Robert E. Littlefield. Nothing was found, however, and classes went off without a hitch Tuesday morning.

Mr. Littlefield alerted parents to the news in a mass e-mail sent out early Monday morning.

“As our night custodian crew was making the last rounds of the evening before shutting down the school for the night, a note was discovered that referenced an explosive device in the building,” Mr. Littlefield wrote.

According to School Committee Chairman David Croston, custodians found the note around 11 p.m. Monday during “their final sweep” of the building.

“It could have been present for some time,” said Mr. Croston, who declined to say where exactly the note was found.

“Our custodians notified the Portsmouth Police Department and thus began several hours of action to make sure the school was safe to receive students in the morning,” Mr. Littlefield stated in his e-mail.

The entire building was searched Monday night with the assistance of the Rhode Island State Police and its canine team, he said. “Nothing was found and the school was declared safe for occupancy. As an extra measure of precaution and to provide our students with assurance that their school is safe, we have asked for police presence on campus (Tuesday) morning.”

Mr. Croston said the School Department takes every threat seriously, but it needed to keep its response “under control.”

“We felt that the kids were absolutely safe today. We will follow this diligently,” he said.

Mr. Littlefield said he was grateful to the school’s custodians, Police Chief Jeffrey Furtado and the Police Department for their vigilance.

“The investigation into identifying the source of the note will continue,” Mr. Littlefield said. “If you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to write to me at: [email protected]