Los Angeles is home to the second-largest public school district in the country, with over 900 schools and 187 public charter schools. Thus, when every single school in the district is shut down, it is certainly something to which the United States should pay attention. After the shooting at San Bernardino and the attacks in Paris, the country has been on high alert for terrorist attacks and acts of mass casualties. So when a bomb threat was called in to the Los Angeles Unified School District (or LAUSD), the city's reaction was swift and drastic.
According to The Atlantic, Ramon Cortines, the superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District, the school board received an electronic message Tuesday morning threatening multiple schools. Cortines said, "It was not one school, two schools or three schools-it was many schools. Not specifically identified, but there were many schools."
LAUSD's Board of Education president, Steve Zimmer felt the school closings were appropriate given "the situation." He went on to say, "We need the cooperation of the whole of Los Angeles today. We need families and neighbors to work together with our families and employees to make sure our kids are safe throughout the day. We need employers to show the flexibility that a situation like this demands. And we ask you to show the maximum possible flexibility with your employees who are primarily mothers and fathers and guardians today in this situation."
Mayor Bill de Blasio told reporters that New York, too, received similar digital threats. However, he felt such threats were not sufficiently verifiable to take the drastic actions that the LAUSD decided on. He said, according to CBS New York, the message he received was, "written in a fashion that suggests that it's not plausible, and we've come to the conclusion that we must continue to keep our school system open. In fact, it's very important not to overreact in situations like this."