Threat that closed Los Angeles Unified schools came from Germany

MGN

LOS ANGELES (AP) –

A Los Angeles school official says the threat that shut down the nation’s second-largest school district was emailed to a school board member and is believed to have come from an IP address in Frankfurt, Germany.

Los Angeles Unified School District spokeswoman Shannon Haber said Tuesday that she didn’t know if the district has ever closed all of its more than 900 schools and 187 public charter schools.

New York City officials say they received the same threat but quickly concluded that it was a hoax. New York Police Commissioner William Bratton said he thought Los Angeles officials overreacted by deciding to close the schools.

Haber says she couldn’t comment on threats received by other districts and whether they’re related.

She says, “At this point, we’re focused on LA Unified.”

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8:55 a.m.

New York City officials say they received the same threat that led to the closure of the Los Angeles school system but quickly concluded that it was a hoax.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday morning that he was “absolutely convinced” there was no danger to schoolchildren in New York.

New York Police Commissioner William Bratton said he thought Los Angeles officials overreacted by deciding to close the nation’s second-largest school system.

He said a school superintendent received the threatening email Tuesday morning.

Bratton said the person who wrote the note claimed to be a jihadist but made errors that made it clear the person was a prankster.

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8:15 a.m.

Parents bundling up their children on an unusually cold morning received robocalls from Los Angeles schools officials telling them to keep them home.

A voice message from the LA Unified School District said: “As a result of a threat received the superintendent has directed all schools to be closed today.” Some parents also got separate calls from the schools themselves.

Parent Lupita Vela says she was terrified after getting the announcement, especially in light of the recent San Bernardino attack. Vela says she worries about how to talk to her 8-year-old daughter, Isabella, about the threat because she wants the third-grader to feel safe at school.

Elinor McMillan, whose daughter is in 7th grade at Animo Westside Charter Middle School, says she’s a nervous wreck.

Superintendent Ramon Cortines says the threat was made against students at many of the district’s schools.

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8:05 a.m.

A law enforcement official says the threat that closed all schools in the vast Los Angeles Unified School District was emailed to a school board member and appeared to come from overseas.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the investigation. The official says the threat was sent late Monday.

Superintendent Ramon Cortines says the threat was made against students at many of the district’s schools. Officials wouldn’t elaborate.

Cortines says the San Bernardino shooting that left 14 people dead on Dec. 2 influenced the decision to shut down the district’s more than 900 schools and 187 public charter schools.

– From Associated Press writer Tami Abdollah in Washington, D.C.

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7:50 a.m.

Officials say the San Bernardino shooting influenced the decision to close all schools in the vast Los Angeles Unified School District after receiving a threat.

Superintendent Ramon Cortines said at a news conference Tuesday that an electronic threat in the form of a message was made against students at many of the district’s schools.

He says the schools commonly get threats but called this one rare. Officials wouldn’t elaborate.

Cortines says he ordered the shutdown out of an abundance of caution after the Dec. 2 attack in nearby San Bernardino that left 14 people dead.

He says he wants every school to be searched and a report given to him and the school board.

The district, the second largest in the nation, has 640,000 students and more than 900 schools and 187 public charter schools.

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7:30 a.m.

Los Angeles Unified School District police Chief Steven Zipperman says an “electronic” threat led to the decision to close all schools in the nation’s second largest school district Tuesday morning.

Zipperman says the threat is still being evaluated.

District Superintendent Ramon Cortines says the threat was against students, not just a single campus.

Officials are notifying parents to keep their children at home.

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7:10 a.m.

All schools in the vast Los Angeles Unified School District have been ordered closed due to a threat.

School district spokeswoman Ellen Morgan announced the closure Tuesday but released no further details ahead of a press conference at district headquarters.

The district, the second largest in the nation, has 640,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade and more than 900 schools and 187 public charter schools.

The district spans 720 square miles including Los Angeles and all or part of more than 30 smaller cities and some unincorporated areas.

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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