UPDATE: CHS Principal, Police Respond to ‘Unsubstantiated Threat’ to Staff

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This article has been updated with information from the Maplewood Police Department.

Columbia High School Principal Kirk Smith sent a letter to parents Monday afternoon regarding an unsubstantiated threat made to staff members. Although Smith noted the comment was “vague” and “most likely not real,” he said he was taking the threat seriously.

Capt. Michael A. Marucci of the Maplewood Police Department told The Village Green Tuesday the department did a “protective sweep” of the school in the morning and did not find anything “out of place.” Marucci would not comment further on the nature of the threats, as the investigation is ongoing.

In addition, the department is deploying extra officers to the high school to patrol during arrival and dismissal times.

Here is the complete text of the emailed letter:

Good Day Parents,

Shortly before dismissal I was made aware of an unsubstantiated comment involving a threat to staff members at CHS. This comment was very vague and most likely not real. However; in today’s world I must take comments very seriously. I am currently working with the Maplewood Police Department to make the last two school days safe for students and staff. I deeply regret that this matter has occurred given the great school year that we have had. Thank you. 

Kirk E. Smith


Columbia High School

“Home of the Cougars”

The Village Green will reach out to the South Orange – Maplewood School District and to Maplewood Police and will update this story as information becomes available.

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