A parent is calling for better communication from school officials after two incidents involving students allegedly bringing knives to Searsport Elementary School occurred last month. Credit: Gabor Degre / BDN

A midcoast district has overhauled communication after students allegedly brought knives to a midcoast elementary school twice last month but parents weren’t informed, officials said.

RSU 20 Superintendent Chris Downing said the incidents took place within one week of each other at Searsport Elementary School, the first on April 4 and the second on April 11. Neither resulted in injuries.

Both incidents were handled by school staff and School Resource Officer Colby Leavitt, he said.

In both cases, parents weren’t told about the incidents, officials and parents confirmed. Searsport parent Jonathan Cole said there needs to be more transparency from school officials about incidents involving students bringing weapons to class.

“I’m concerned that incidents like this are happening in our school and there doesn’t seem to be any communication or corroboration of these incidents from anyone involved in the school,” Cole said.

That’s already underway, Downing said.

“Awareness is something that we’re reviewing, and we’ll be taking more of a proactive approach of informing the school system based upon the situation and the incident,” Downing said.

RSU 20 will circulate announcements and updates when incidents happen in the future through its website as well as social media, Downing said. It may also use robocalls to inform parents depending on the severity of the situation. He said the school has already been communicating more regularly about other issues, such as buses running late.

Despite the two incidents that occurred in April, there hasn’t been an overall increase in students bringing weapons to school in RSU 20, Downing said.

“These are not common things and when you look back and review, there are things that should change, and they will,” Downing said.

Cole also spoke about the issue during the school board meeting on Tuesday, but the board declined to discuss it, saying it wasn’t on the agenda.

No charges were filed in either April incident, Downing told the Republican Journa l.

This isn’t the first time this year that Waldo County schools have dealt with students allegedly bringing weapons to school. In March, a 10-year-old student at Monroe Elementary School was accused of bringing a handgun into school.

Last year, a student at the Searsport District Middle School was charged with terrorizing and false public alarm after allegedly pulling a fire alarm and threatening to bring a knife to school to harm others.

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Braeden Waddell

Braeden Waddell is a reporter covering Belfast and Waldo County. He grew up in Waldoboro and joined the Bangor Daily News in 2023 after working as an associate producer for National Public Radio. He graduated...