Bomb Threat Closes LAUSD Schools

Jaden Kimura, Reporter

On December 15, Los Angeles Unified School District shut down all of its schools due to a bomb threat which was sent to several board members. Some 640,000 students were sent home for the day.
LAUSD was one of the first school districts to receive the threat. Tension was already high due to the San Bernardino shooting 2 weeks prior to the threat. Because of this, the LAUSD school board decided not to take a chance and cancel school for the day. LAUSD was not the only school district to receive this threat.  Many other school districts received the threat as well. The New York City Department of Education also received the threat, however dismissed it as a hoax after reviewing further evidence. 
Although CCUSD is a neighboring school district of LAUSD, Culver City stayed in session. According to superintendent David La Rose, “Like the other school districts surrounding LAUSD, we made a thoughtful decision to hold school: we assessed the situation, worked closely with local law enforcement to clarify the facts, and confirmed the threats were of a very specific nature to LAUSD schools only.” After closely working with law enforcement to analyze the situation, La Rose and the school board deemed the threat was not aimed towards CCUSD and school resumed normal schedule. LAPD closely monitored CCUSD school campuses to ensure safety.
The anonymous sender claimed to be a senior student at a school in LA. In the E-mail, he included that he was bullied and planned to attack the school with bombs and guns. The writer also claimed to be a Muslim extremist.
Canceling school for the day didn’t come without backlashes. Many issues followed the cancellation. The cancellation could potentially cost LAUSD some 29 million in federal funds. However, the school board is confident that they will be granted the funds. Due to the short notice, parents of those in need of supervision were forced to frantically search for child care or had to take time off work in order to care for their child. This came to be rather inconvenient for many parents.
LAUSD also received criticism from the NYCDE, who also received the threat, however categorized it as a hoax and continued the routine school schedule. The NYCDE claimed that the E-mail contained information that was not credible, and that multiple schools had been sent the Email, all with similar content. The LAUSD has also been accused of overreacting to the situation at hand.
To their defense, due to the LAUSD being the first to receive the threat, they did not have the same amount of information which the NYCDE had when they made their decision. When the LAUSD school board first received the E-mail, it was a credible threat, and it simply wasn’t a risk they were willing to take. The LAUSD also has support from parents of students enrolled in LA schools. Many parents have claimed that it was too dangerous to send their kids to school with such little information given at the time.
After further investigation, LAUSD, LAPD, and the FBI have claimed that the E-mail that was sent was not credible, and school would resume the following day. This conclusion was made after campuses were thoroughly swept and every aspect of safety was examined. There were also some flaws in the E-mail which helped officials conclude that it was not a credible threat. Some included the E-mail being traced back to Germany and the writer not understanding Islam well.
Although the threat turned out to be a hoax, LAUSD and LAPD made smart decisions to keep students and the community safe.
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