All of the schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) are closed today after the district received what it described as a credible terrorism threat.
The threat came across in an email and, while it didn’t name specific schools, it did reference that it was against several schools. This threat was called credible because it had a date and time that it referenced, making it specific. Buses were called back to the schools and parents were notified to not bring their children to school.
Superintendent Ramon Cortines spoke regarding students who are at the school and need to be picked up that no child will be left alone, however they will be outside at a gate with the principal until they are picked up. Cortines said, “I know it is cold. We are making every effort to make sure we get the notification to parents as soon as possible, but I am not taking the chance of bringing children into any part of the building until I know it is safe.” Anyone who is currently at school has been informed to go home.
Every school within the LAUSD will be searched today. Cortines said that no one will be allowed in the schools until he receives a report that it is safe. Officials say they receive threats frequently, but there was something about this particular threat that caused them to make the decision to close the entire district.
Syed Rizwan Farook, the Muslim terrorist who killed 14 of his co-workers and injured 21 more in San Bernardino, worked as a environmental health inspector. Following his death, which happened after a shoot out with police as he and his Pakastani national wife Tashfeen Malik led police on a low-speed chase then began shooting at them, authorities found photos of high schools located in the San Bernardino Unified School District leading them to wonder if a school was a target of the terrorist as well.
The LAUSD is the second largest school district in the country with nearly 650,000 students. There are 900 schools within the district, 200 of those are charter schools. It encompasses 720 square miles.
Los Angeles is located 60 miles from San Bernardino, the location of the terrorist attack by Farook and Malik who pledged allegiance to Obama’s JV team, the Islamic terrorist group ISIS.
This story is developing.
Update, 8:34 am PT
The threat was delivered in an email to a school board member. Authorities report that the email originated overseas.
Update, 10:13 am PT
Ramon Cortines, Superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District, with the support of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and LAPD Chief Charlie Beck defend the decision of Cortines to close the schools. Chief Beck said, “The superintendent made the decision [to close the schools]. We support his decision, as does the mayor. I would say this to people that are critical. It is very easy in hindsight to criticize the decision based on results the decider could never have known.”
“It’s also very easy to criticize the decision when you have no responsibility for the outcome of that decision,” Chief Beck contended.
Update, 12:44 pm PT
A House Intelligence Committee member says the threat to Los Angeles schools is believed to be a hoax.