UPDATE: Willard Middle School evacuated due to explosive threat

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WILLARD, Mo. UPDATE: Willard Fire Chief Ken Scott tells us a student came to school and reported that he had a chemical bomb in a small thermos. The school's staff took the threat seriously and evacuated the school as a precaution. The Springfield Fire Department Regional Bomb Squad arrived and investigated. The bomb squad determined that no threat existed.

Willard Schools Spokesperson Whitney Burrell says, "The student has been identified and the situation will be addressed according to board policy."

This is the board policy when it comes to threats of violence, "The Willard R-II School believes a zero tolerance procedure is necessary to protect all students and staff from threats of violence. It is the belief of the District that all students should attend school with the feeling that they are safe and free from threats of a violent nature. A threat of violence is a serious matter and will be dealt with in that manner, regardless of the age and grade level of the student."

The policy also says, "A threat of violence to do bodily harm will be addressed as a serious issue and the student will be removed from the classroom/area setting immediately and assigned disciplinary action up to a maximum of expulsion for a first offense. Repeat offenses will carry heavier penalties as necessary."
Parents of Willard Middle School students received an email from the district shortly after 9:00 a.m. Thursday, February 1st about a possible explosive device. Students and staff evacuated the building and moved to the Willard High School a couple blocks away.

Willard firefighters and police confirm the building is safe. Students and staff got the all clear to go back to class about a half hour later.