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.
Thursday, March 6 2014 11:41 PM EST2014-03-07 04:41:04 GMT
The Randolph man who admitted to murdering his niece in 2008 will be sentenced this spring. In August Michael Jacques struck a deal with federal prosecutors. He gave up his right to an appeal and pleadedMore >>
The Randolph man who admitted to murdering his niece in 2008 will be sentenced this spring.More >>
Thursday, March 6 2014 11:40 PM EST2014-03-07 04:40:13 GMT
It's a real estate deal between UVM and the Queen City that could end up kicking some non-profits to the curb. The Burlington School District voted Thursday night on half of the multi-million dollar deal.More >>
It's a real estate deal between UVM and the Queen City that could end up kicking some non-profits to the curb.More >>
Thursday, March 6 2014 7:53 PM EST2014-03-07 00:53:09 GMT
'Tis the season-- as winter winds down frost heaves and potholes arrive. The ups and downs of the 2014 winter can be seen and felt. No route or road is spared. And just adding to the frustration-- theMore >>
The deep freeze is making for some rough roads across our region and it's also contributing to a fuel shortage. Shelby Cashman has more.More >>
Thursday, March 6 2014 7:56 PM EST2014-03-07 00:56:36 GMT
The pothole problem knows no boundaries. Our neighbors to the north are also dealing with rough roads. The Quebec Transportation Ministry budgeted $260 million for winter road maintenance. But crews haveMore >>
Our neighbors to the north are also dealing with rough roads.More >>
Thursday, March 6 2014 4:23 PM EST2014-03-06 21:23:33 GMT
Investigators now say a fire that damaged a student housing complex at St. Michael's College was not caused by the building's heating system. The fire last month damaged a row of townhouses. All of theMore >>
Investigators now say a fire that damaged a student housing complex at St. Michael's College was not caused by the building's heating system.More >>
Thursday, March 6 2014 4:50 PM EST2014-03-06 21:50:24 GMT
Vermont police say a New Hampshire woman was driving drunk with two kids in her car. The incident happened Wednesday at the Intersection of 1-91 and Route 302 in Newbury, Vt. Vermont state police sayMore >>
Vermont police say a New Hampshire woman was driving drunk with two kids in her car.More >>