It was a tense morning for students at the Williston Central school.
"We were just like in class and our teacher told us that we were going to be evacuating the school because there was a bomb threat from a student," said Lauren Audette, one of the students cleared from the school.
That bomb threat came in overnight to the school's voice mail and was discovered shortly after school started.
"I just think it is scary that there would be a bomb in our school even if it is not true," Audette said.
School officials had reviewed security policy post Sandy Hook and regular security meetings are part of their routine. School personnel say the building's walkie-talkies were just repaired over break and were used in the evacuation. Parents were alerted to the trouble with an automated message sent to their phones. "The school system sent out a couple of alerts that they had to evacuate the Williston Central School," said Peter Audette, Lauren's father.
Williston, South Burlington, State police, as well as a homeland security canine team were called in to search the site while many of the roughly 800 students were sent home with parents.
"Over the past several years it's been extremely frightful -- you can never take the chance and you can never assume," Peter Audette said.
Others spent the morning at the National Guard armory across the street. "The ones that came in on a bus left on a bus. The other ones, they were walked to different locations -- pre-determined locations -- where they evacuate to," said Williston Police Officer Travis Trybulski.
By 10:30 a.m. the scene was clear and remaining students headed back inside with teachers. Parents on site had strong reviews for the way the situation was handled. "I feel really good, especially about the school system sending out alerts -- it's immediate. The kids called from the armory with their cell phones, so I felt very good about it," Peter Audette said. "Hopefully they can spend some time with their friends and get some homework done.
Both parents and students hoped the scare will be a one-time thing. "I also hope that this will not happen again, because it's not good and it just doesn't create a safe place for us," Lauren Audette said.
Williston police said they don't know who was behind the bomb scare.
Williston's Police Chief said his team is regularly a part of the school emergency planning meetings. WCAX-TV had hoped to include the school's perspective in this story, but the Central School's principal did not return our call.
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