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Sarasota County Schools Evacuated After Bomb Threats

The FBI and local law enforcement are investigating a string of bomb threats against schools in the county.

SARASOTA COUNTY, FLORIDA — On Wednesday, students at two Sarasota county schools were given the all-clear to return to class after the schools received bomb threats by phone. Venice High School and Booker Middle School students were evacuated out of “an abundance of caution,” according to the school district.

The threats came one day after three other Sarasota schools received similar threats. Brookside Middle School and Sarasota High School were evacuated following bomb threats on Tuesday, the district said. In addition, Riverview High School was locked down following a suspicious phone call.

“The safety of our students and staff is the highest priority, and [we] understand this can be incredibly concerning for parents and loved ones,” Sarasota School Board Chair Bridget Ziegler wrote on Twitter. “We want to ensure accurate information is being shared as quickly as possible while also addressing the immediate safety needs on the ground.”

It remains unclear if the threats were linked. Chief Steve Lorenz of the district's police department said investigations into the threats are ongoing and the school district is working closely with law enforcement and the FBI. According to Ziegler, threats of a similar nature have been reported by other schools across the state.