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.
Tuesday, May 21 2013 10:41 AM EDT2013-05-21 14:41:38 GMT
The Vermont couple charged with killing a Saint Johnsbury teacher will be in court Tuesday and are planning on asking for new lawyers. Prosecutors say Allen and Patricia Prue kidnapped and killed 33-year-oldMore >>
The Vermont couple charged with killing a St. Johnsbury teacher will be in court Tuesday to ask for new lawyers.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 11:57 AM EDT2013-05-21 15:57:09 GMT
A former animal control officer charged with two counts of prohibited acts was arraigned Tuesday morning. Gary Francis is accused of asking two women to show him their breasts for money. Francis pleadedMore >>
A former animal control officer charged with asking women to show him their breasts for money was arraigned Tuesday.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 10:03 AM EDT2013-05-21 14:03:49 GMT
A Middlebury man has pleaded not guilty to federal arson charges stemming from a fire at a Pittsford car dealership back in July 2011. Police said they found 29-year-old Steven Browne behind the wheelMore >>
A Middlebury man has pleaded not guilty to federal arson charges stemming from a fire at a Pittsford car dealership back in July 2011.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 12:00 PM EDT2013-05-21 16:00:53 GMT
The big story nationally is the aftermath of the disastrous tornado that struck Moore, Okla., Monday. Search and rescue efforts are taking place all over the devastated suburban community. Dozens uponMore >>
In the wake of a devastating tornado, Vt. Gov. Peter Shumlin issued a statement offering sympathy and support to Oklahoma.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 10:06 AM EDT2013-05-21 14:06:59 GMT
A historic building in North Bennington will have new owners and a new purpose. Merchant's Bank donated the building to the Fund for North Bennington and the Preservation Trust of Vermont. That buildingMore >>
A historic building in North Bennington will have new owners and a new purpose.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 10:09 AM EDT2013-05-21 14:09:03 GMT
Work on a chain reaction road project is in full swing starting in Northfield. Crews are working on the final coat of pavement on Route 12 and 12A, and hope to wrap up shortly. The next phase in RandolphMore >>
Work on a chain reaction road project is in full swing starting in Northfield.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 12:09 PM EDT2013-05-21 16:09:57 GMT
Do you know how much time your children or grandchildren spend in phys ed? Where you live in Vermont can make a big difference in answering that question. This week on the Channel 3 News at 6 p.m., EducationMore >>
Do you know how much time your children or grandchildren spend in phys ed? Where you live in Vermont can make a big difference in answering that question.More >>