The shutdown of over 1,000 schools within the Los Angeles Unified School District has officially come to an end. As of Wednesday morning, the 640,000 students who were barred from school Tuesday are back in class. In a statement late Tuesday, the FBI confirmed that the electronic threat, which authorities say had roots in Germany, was not credible and that the episode was a hoax.
During the shutdown, over 900 public schools and 187 charter schools closed their doors to over 640,000 students, ranging from in age from kindergarten to twelfth grade. According to District Superintendent Ramon Cortines, who has vehemently defended the decision to shut down the school district, the threat was made to more than one school and was substantially more concerning than the less serious threats received frequently and readily dismissed. He also acknowledged that recent mass shooting and terrorist attacks have put the district on even higher alert, according to CBS Los Angeles.
This is a rare threat. We get threats all the time ... I think the circumstances in neighboring San Bernardino, I think what has happened in the nation, I think what happened internationally. I, as superintendent, am not going to take the chance with the life of a student.
In a statement following the announcement of the shutdown, he also emphasized his unwillingness to put children in danger.
We're making every effort to see that we get the notification to parents as soon as possible, but I am not taking the chance of bringing children any place, into any part of the building until I know its safe.
The threat had been initially confirmed to only be "electronic," and the FBI immediately began working with the LAPD to determine whether it was credible and warranted an extended shutdown.