UPDATE, TUESDAY, 12/15, 5:15 p.m. (EST)
All LA schools will open tomorrow.
ORIGINAL STORY BELOW:
The Los Angles schools’ terrorist threat may be a hoax, but LA is still operating as if the threat is real. This threat impacts nearly three-fourths of a million students, their families, and 60,000 school staff members.
The LA school authorities were not aware of a related New York school district threat when they decided to cancel all schools. NY decided to keep their schools open and treat the threat as a cime.
Both emails contained similar language and claimed to be from a bullied senior with a small army and a specific weapon armoury. New York based part of its decision on the impossibility of a student being at both locations.
LA sees the threat through a different lens than New York, given that the San Bernardino terrorist attack occurred less than two weeks ago and only 65 miles from downtown LA.
Law enforcement officers throughout the LAUSD district continue combing schools, searching for backpacks or packages that are out-of-place, and they have found none, thus far.
The email was routed through Germany, officials believe, but may have originated as close as Los Angeles. It is easy to mask the originating source.
Terrorism is about violence, but it also generates fear, which is terrorists’ ultimate goal. At this point, it appears the school terrorism threat is a hoax, but it could also be an organization testing our capabilities
The terrorists will learn something as a result of this threat, even if they were not involved. The U.S. has also learned it needs systems to coordinate between cities to track and communicate threats more effectively.
Parents in the LA school district expressed their gratitude to the LAUSD for protecting their children in spite of the chaos it caused. Any criticism of that decision will be made in hindsite and under different circumstances, so it will carry little if any weight.
The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) closed down more than 900 schools due to an electronic (email) threat that apparently originated from overseas and was sent to a school board member by name.
LAUSD is the second largest school district in the U.S. and has nearly 700,000 students. The district reported the threat was a “valid threat” involving backpacks and packages left in the schools.
The district superintendent Ramon Cortines said:
“I think it’s important to take this precaution based on what has happened recently and what has happened in the past.”
The threat arrives just a day after the Sandy Hook grade school massacre anniversary and less than two weeks after the San Bernardino terrorist attack, just 65 miles from downtown LA.
New York City received what appears to be a threat from the same source. Unlike LA, New York decided the threat was not credible.
New York City commissioner Bill Bratton said:
“The threat is a huge disservice to the nation, and it was in fact a hoax.”
The Los Angeles Police Chief Steve Zipperman said:
“The threat is still being analyzed. We have chosen to close our schools today until we can be sure our campuses are safe.”
According to MSNBC, the text was not written by true student of Islam, because it does not have the same propaganda markers, and ISIS does not give threats prior to attacks.
Superintendent Cortines asked for patience from parents and school employees:
“I want to be very clear we need cooperation of the whole of Los Angeles today.”
Updates will follow as more information becomes available. To access these updates, save the link to this article.