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  1. Education

Students at Leila Davis Elementary return to school after bomb scare ends

CLEARWATER — Police have cleared Leila Davis Elementary following a bomb threat this morning.

Students and teachers evacuated the school, located at 2630 Landmark Drive in the Countryside area, around noon Monday to Heritage United Methodist Church, just a short walk away, for about an hour. They ate lunch in holding rooms at the church while Clearwater police, the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office and Tampa police conducted a safety sweep.

Clearwater police spokesman Rob Shaw said authorities, "found nothing of concern or significance."

"The first thing we wanted to do was to move all the children out," he said.

The call was reported to police just before noon. Specifics about the call were not immediately available, and police do not have a suspect.

The Pinellas County school district called Davis Elementary parents informing them of the end of the evacuation.

"We take safety very seriously and any concern is fully investigated in coordination with law enforcement," the message said.

Pinellas school spokeswoman Lisa Wolf said the decision to evacuate students to Heritage was made in conjunction with law enforcement.

"This is in line with how we respond to bomb threats that are called into schools," she said.

Tensions ran high as hundreds of students marched in lines from the church back to the school. About 10 parents waited in the church's parking lot.

Colleen Delmore, 37, said she got a phone call about the situation and rushed over to Heritage to get her two sons, Hunter and Ethan.

Hunter, 6, who was in the middle of his lunch period when the evacuation began, left in such a rush he had to leave his lunch box behind.

"I was happy to hear that they got out so quickly," Delmore said. "Now we're going to go try to find that lunch box."

John Brown, 46, praised the school and law enforcement for keeping Davis students, including his 10-year-old son, Kaden, safe.

"The fact that they were able to get the kids to a safe place so quickly … It's great we have that kind of response," he said.

The school has 717 students.

Contact Colleen Wright at cwright@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8643. Follow @Colleen_Wright.

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