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April 19. 2013 4:00AM

Hollis schools deal with gun scare, bomb threat

HOLLIS - Students at Hollis Primary School got an unexpected lesson when a classmate brought a real rifle scope to show and tell.

But parents became alarmed when they tried to call the school after receiving a voice mail alert about the situation, only to find the school's phone system down.

The third-grader showed classmates the rifle scope after lunch on Tuesday. The child uses the scope as a telescope or binoculars and plays with it as a toy, according to an email sent to parents.

After making sure that everyone was safe, Principal Elizabeth Allen met with the child and with the class to ensure that the students felt comfortable and understood how the student used the scope, according to the email.

In an email to parents, Allen said the use of the word "safety" in the voice mail alert "triggered a tremendous amount of upset and stress for many. To complicate the situation, our phones were still down and service was not restored creating further concern."

She said that, with the alert coming out the day after the Boston Marathon bombings, the "raw nerves" may have created alarm.

"Please accept my sincere apologies for any upset this may have caused. The steps I took (Tuesday) were to keep you fully updated and informed," she wrote.

Allen referred all questions to Superintendent Susan Hodgdon, who did not return a call for comment.

It was the second incident this week for Hollis schools.

Hollis/Brookline High School was evacuated for about a half hour around 11 a.m. Thursday after a note was found scribbled on the bathroom wall referencing a bomb in the school. Police and fire officials did not find anything suspicious in the building.

Police are continuing the investigation into who wrote the graffiti.

Hollis Primary School is administered by the Hollis School District. Hollis Brookline High School is run by the Hollis Brookline Cooperative School District. SAU41 serves both districts along with the Brookline School District.

jhanson@newstote.com


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