LAUSD Schools closed for bomb threatLos Angeles Post-Examiner

LAUSD schools closed due to bomb threat

Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) superintendent Ramon Cortines announced this morning they were closing all 900 schools in the LAUSD system. One of the school board members received a bomb threat, via email, made against many schools. The IP address of the email was traced back to Frankfurt, Germany so school authorities were advised to take that as a credible threat.

Ramon Cortines

Ramon Cortines

Cortines didn’t specify which schools were targeted in the email, or if any specific schools were named, nor did he say which district superintendent received the email. He also told reporters that Los Angeles School Police Department Chief Steven Zipperman and School Board President Steve Zimmer were consulted before making the decision to close all the schools.

In his press conference, Cortines told reporters, “I’ve asked the plant managers to walk the school, and if they see anything that is out of order to contact the police. Not to touch anything, not to do anything, but if they see anything out of line, to contact the proper authorities.” He added, “I think that it is important that I take the precaution, based on what has happened recently and what has happened in the past,” referring to the December 2 terrorist attack in San Bernardino and attacks on schools in previous years.

Zipperman said, “Earlier this morning we did receive an electronic threat that mentioned the safety of our schools. As a result of that threat the Los Angeles School Police Department, as well as the Los Angeles Police Department and the FBI were notified. And right now the threat is still being analyzed.”

The Los Angeles Police Department and other law enforcement agencies are assisting in the investigation and the FBI has been notified.

LAUSD BusParents have been told to keep their children home from school today and if they have dropped off children already, to come back and pick them up. Proper identification will be required to pick up any children.

LAUSD has over 640,000 students from kindergarten to 12th grade, and 187 public charter schools in the district. The LAUSD has a hot line for parents to call for more information: 213-241-2064.

Cortines said he will have another press conference later this afternoon after he is notified by Chief Zipperman that all schools have been searched.

Claudia Gestro contributed to this article.

All photos via YouTube

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UPDATE: Officials are now saying this was most likely a hoax. The New York City school system got the same threat as well, but they chose not to close their schools based on their analysis of the threat.

Bill Bratton, the Commissioner of the New York City Police Department and former Chief of the Los Angeles Police Department, said LAUSD over-reacted when it shut down schools for the day. He cited elements in the email, like the word “Allah” not being capitalized and the writer not knowing about weapons and bombs, as the big clues the threat was a hoax.

Others, like former Congresswoman Jane Harmon of California, said it was better to err on the side of caution and close the schools.

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