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LAUSD Shuts Down Because Of Terror Threat To 'Many' Schools
LAUSD is shutting down all campuses—around 900—this morning because of a terrorist threat sent to a board member.
Police told the Los Angeles Times that a bomb threat prompted the district to close all schools effective immediately. At a press conference this morning, LAUSD Superintendent Ramon Cortines said "electronic threats" related to backpacks and packages were made.
Little other information about the threats is being released. Students, staff and parents were encouraged to stay away from campus until the situation is resolved—at least the entire day.
Cortines says the district routinely receives threats, but this one was "rare" and specific. Board of Education President Steve Zimmer said the district was acting "out of an abundance of caution." Cortines said that students at "many" schools were threatened, and he referenced the recent terrorist attack in San Bernardino as a reason for the closure: "It is important that I take precaution based on what has happened recently, and what has happened in the past."
The FBI has been called in, and police are searching each of the campuses. School buses were recalled to the bus depot in Gardena. Cortines said, "I want every school searched to make sure it is safe for children and make sure it is safe for staff."
Authorities asked employers to be flexible with parents and guardians who would need to make arrangements for child care. Nearly 650,000 students attend LAUSD, making it the second largest district in the country.
LAUSD told parents to check their site or call for updates:
If you already dropped your student off at school, staff will be watching them until guardians pick them up. Police are also monitoring the situation:
Students that have arrived at school will be with staff until parents or guardians can be contacted.— Los Angeles Unified (@LASchools) December 15, 2015
LAUSD students ride Metro free today until noon:
Schools outside the district, including private campuses, haven't received threats and aren't affected by the closures.
This post has been updated with additional details from a press conference this morning.