Update 1:18pm ET
A ”credible threat” of violence forced Los Angeles school officials to close the entire district this morning (Dec. 15).
New York City received a similar threat, but concluded it was not credible, and authorities are investigating it as a hoax. New York mayor Bill De Blasio and police commissioner Bill Bratton said several other districts across the country also got the threat, which was sent by email.
The Los Angeles Times reports that the threat mentioned backpacks and packages left at numerous campuses. The district receives threats daily, but officials are treating this one very seriously, superintendent Ramon Cortines said in a press conference. Police are searching the campuses, and helping with the investigation along with the FBI.
“I think it’s important to take this precaution based on what has happened recently and what has happened in the past,” said Cortines. In early December, two shooters went on a shooting rampage in San Bernardino, just 60 miles from Los Angeles, killing 14 people in an apparent act of terrorism.
De Blasio said during a press conference that New York kids should be at school. “We will be vigilant. But we are absolutely convinced our schools are safe.”
The threat will keep out the district’s 640,000 students out of school in Los Angeles, country’s second-largest district, as well as prevent hundreds of thousands of parents from coming to work, which could impact the region’s economy.