In a stunning move, the Los Angeles Unified School District closed every public school in the city on Tuesday because of a “credible terror threat” and is searching every one of its schools—more than 900—for suspicious items.
School officials cited an “electronic threat” made overnight. “The threat’s a serious threat. If it were not a serious threat we would not be taking such a dramatic step as closing the schools,” school board president Steve Zimmer told KTLA news.
The school district is the second largest in the country. KTLA reports that it serves more than 640,000 students between kindergarten and 12th grade in more than 900 schools and 187 public charter schools.
“I’ve asked the plant managers to walk the school and if they see anything that is out of order to contact the police,” superintendent Ramon C. Cortines said in a press conference. “If they see anything out of line to contact the proper authorities.”
The Los Angeles Times reported that the threat involved “violence involving backpacks and packages left at campuses” and was directed towards numerous unspecified schools.
Less than two weeks ago, two shooters killed more than 14 people in nearby San Bernardino, California, in what the Times reported was the deadliest terrorist attack on U.S. soil since 9/11.