LA schools to reopen, e-mail threat 'not credible'

2015-12-16 09:00
Parked Los Angeles school district buses. (Damian Dovarganes, AP)

Parked Los Angeles school district buses. (Damian Dovarganes, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Los Angeles - Schools were due to reopen in Los Angeles on Wednesday after authorities determined that an emailed threat prompting the shutdown of the second-largest school district in the United States was not deemed credible.

The drastic decision on Tuesday to close more than 900 schools and to keep 640 000 students at home was made out of "an abundance of caution", and in light of the deadly December 2 attacks in nearby San Bernardino, said schools superintendent Ramon Cortines.

"I'm not going to take the chance with the life of a student," said Cortines, who runs the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD).

But Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti told reporters later on Tuesday: "We can now announce the FBI has determined this was not a credible threat."

The LAUSD said on Twitter that classes and after-school activities would resume on Wednesday, adding: "When it comes to the well-being of our children, we will never take chances."

A similar threat was also made against New York schools, but officials there said they deemed it not credible from the onset and accused Los Angeles school officials of badly overreacting.

California congressman Adam Schiff said the e-mails, sent late on Monday from an IP address in Frankfurt, Germany, were likely a prank.

"Preliminary assessment is it was a hoax to disrupt school districts in large cities," Schiff said on Twitter.

But Garcetti cautioned it was too early to draw conclusions.

"Whether it's criminal mischief, whether it's somebody testing vulnerabilities of multiple cities, we still do not know enough to say definitively," he said.

Authorities raised the alarm after several members of the LA school board reported receiving e-mails threatening violence involving backpacks and packages left at some schools.

California congressman Brad Sherman told CNN that the e-mails had come from a person claiming to be a "extremist Muslim" who said attacks would take place on Tuesday and would involve nerve gas.

The message also said the person boasted of having "32 accomplices... all ready to take action today," Sherman said.

Read more on:    us

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.