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Threat assessments at odds: LA shuts down schools; NYC calls it hoax




A closure announcement at Rio Vista Elementary in North Hollywood as LAUSD schools close following a threat on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2015.
A closure announcement at Rio Vista Elementary in North Hollywood as LAUSD schools close following a threat on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2015.
Mary Plummer/KPCC

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The two largest school districts in the U.S. received threats this morning and officials in those cities chose to handle it in two very different ways.

Here in Los Angeles, L.A. Unified Superintendent Ramon Cortines shut down all LAUSD campuses this morning after what was described as a ‘credible threat.’ Parents were instructed to keep their kids home, and those who had already dropped their children off were required to come back with proper ID to pick them up. Faculty and staff were also told to stay home. The email threat has been traced to Germany, though there is little other information available about the nature of the threat or how its credibility was determined.

Meanwhile, the nation’s largest school district, New York Public Schools, received a similar email threat but it was determined to be a hoax. NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton suggested during a press conference that LAUSD had overreacted in closing all its schools so hastily.

For more on this story and a list of school districts in the greater Los Angeles that remain open, click here.

Guests:

Adolfo Guzman-Lopez, KPCC Education Reporter

Brian Michael Jenkins, Senior Advisor to the President of the Rand Corporation and one of the nation's leading experts on terrorism and homeland security