Twelve hours after an emailed threat of violence prompted officials in Los Angeles Unified to shut down all 900 schools, law enforcement officials had discredited the threat and district leaders announced classes would resume today.
In New York City, officials said they had received a similar threat to schools, but opted to keep schools open after concluding it was a hoax.
It was a remarkable turn of events in the nation’s second largest school district, with Los Angeles Unified Superintendent Ramon Cortines deciding to keep 640,000 students home for the day, disrupting much of daily life in the sprawling district.
By the the middle of the day, as officials searched some 1,000 campuses and other district properties, Cortines and district officials were defending their choice, especially as critics from New York City, including Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, suggested that L.A. had overreacted.
The Los Angeles closure comes less than two weeks after a mass shooting in nearby San Bernardino, Calif., killed 14 people.
In a statement to district students, families, and staff, Cortines said he did not make his decision lightly.
“It disrupted the lives of our students, our employees and their families,” he said. “Based on recent events, I took this precaution out of an abundance of caution and to ensure safety and security in our schools. We now must get back to the business of educating our kids. Our local districts will be supporting school and maintaining consistency.”
A version of this news article first appeared in the District Dossier blog.