The bomb threat that shut LA’s schools was a probably a hoax, officials say

Hundreds of thousands of parents had to scramble this morning in Los Angeles.
Hundreds of thousands of parents had to scramble this morning in Los Angeles.
Image: Reuters/Jason Redmond
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Schools in New York and Los Angeles reacted very differently to bomb threats today, even though both received warning emails from the same IP address.

The Los Angeles Unified School District shut down more than 900 schools, keeping 640,000 children at home. New York authorities dismissed the threat as a hoax. Now, several federal officials agree with the latter assessment.

The email had claimed that its author and 138 “comrades” would attack “every school in the New York City school district,” and “massacre” them “mercilessly,” reported the Associated Press. The LA email reportedly stated that its writer was a high school senior who had been bullied, according NBC.

According to California congressman Adam Schiff, an initial investigation suggested the threats were a hoax designed to disrupt the school districts.

New York police commissioner William Bratton said that Los Angeles, where he used to be police chief, overreacted in response to the email. He also ridiculed the email’s sender, noting that the name Allah had been written with a lower-case “a.”

LA school superintendent Ramon Cortines stood by his decision in a press conference. “Based on past circumstances, I could not take the chance,” he said, and that the city’s mayor and police chief backed his move.