LaVilla School of the Arts evacuated twice as police conduct two bomb sweeps

Jason Rantala reports. 9/13/2016

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A chaotic morning for students and their parents Tuesday, after not one, but two evacuations at LaVilla School of the Arts, in response to a bomb threat.  

The threat came in the form of a posting on social media site Instagram.

Students and staff were sent to the Prime Osbourne Convention Center after 8 a.m. for the first evacuation.

Just as students and staff were given the "all clear" and sent back to LaVilla, a second bomb sweep was announced at the school for 11 a.m., right after students had already returned to the school.
Once again students returned to the convention center, this time to be picked up by parents.

"When they brought us back to the school, we were kind of scared to go inside the school," said Alana Hancock, a seventh grader at LaVilla.

Despite the back and forth between buildings, parents say the police handled the situation well.

"I guess they're doing all the precautions that they can to protect the kids," said parent Sarah Williams.

Duval School says they take these incidents seriously as they threaten the safety of their schools and negatively affect and detract from the learning environment.

School officials will work closely with law enforcement to ensure those who made this threat are identified and face criminal charges and expulsion.

Anyone with information regarding this threat should contact school police.

The district released a statement after dismissal, which read in part:

As a special note, we just want to thank students, faculty, parents, and the staff at the Prime Osborn Center for the tremendous patience and cooperation they have shown during this time. We look forward to a safe and productive school day tomorrow. If you or your student have any information regarding this threat, please contact school police immediately.


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