Nashua school threat

Yesterday all the public schools in Nashua were closed because of a reported threat against the city’s two high schools. The schools are reopening today.

I live less than two miles from one of the high schools that was threatened, and the threat was considered credible enough at first to justify closing the other schools as well, yet I don’t know its actual nature. The public hasn’t been told, on grounds of “protecting the integrity of the case.”

This bothers me. The school officials decided the threat was serious enough that it didn’t stop at the boundaries of the high schools, so why should we think it stopped at the boundaries of the public school system? Did it extend to private schools? (Bishop Guertin High School, the city’s biggest private high school, is apparently closed for the week, so at least they didn’t have to decide based on inadequate information, but the city has at least one other place that calls itself a high school and several colleges.) Did it extend to Nashua’s shopping centers, which are crowded this week? To where I live?

Reports of looking for a “device” and news pictures of a bomb squad vehicle suggest that the threat involved a bomb, or perhaps that a bomb was one of several possibilities. I understand not disclosing everything; identifying a suspect by knowledge of unpublicized details is a standard investigative technique. But the assurance that an unspecified threat is no longer credible, based only on a search of the schools, isn’t very convincing.

The bottom line for me is: How should I react? Most obviously, I should avoid the high schools for a while. The next couple of days will be abnormally warm, great for bike riding, and one of my favorite routes goes through Nashua South’s parking lot to Mine Falls Park, but I’m going to avoid it. It’s not bombs I’m afraid of, but cops who might arrest anybody for no reason. I’m avoiding the shopping centers anyway; they’re too crowded.

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