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Bomb threat hoax disrupts Southside Elementary School

SARASOTA -- A thorough police search found the bomb threat called into Southside Elementary School on Thursday to be a hoax.

About 700 students were evacuated as authorities searched the school for explosives.

The prank call came in at 1:15 p.m. with an anonymous caller claiming a bomb was inside the school.

Sarasota Police Department officers helped evacuate students, all of whom were “safe and accounted for,” said police spokeswoman Genevieve Judge.

Southside Principal Steve Dragon said it took less than five minutes to evacuate.

“We do fire drills once a month, so teachers and students know what to do,” he said.

Students sat near playground equipment at the west end of school property during the evacuation as parents stayed close by.