Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Bomb Threats and Overreacting?

Yesterday was intense. Los Angeles Unified School District received a threat of violence against all schools in their district at about 5 am on Tuesday morning. The threat was considered by the LAUSD to be credible enough to shut down over 900 schools.

Many parents and students were scared and confused. I had to drop off my children to school with more anxiety than ever. I spent the morning wondering if terrorists could really attack so many places at once and would they really target innocent children. After the Paris attacks and the mass shooting in San Bernardino, LAUSD made the call to close all schools. This is a huge decision. That is a major job to notify all students and families, not to mention the amount of money that will be lost. State run schools get money for each student that attends class for each day.

I was glued to the news all morning and by mid-morning the story was not progressing. Police were clearing schools one by one. There were reports that the threat had come through an email with an IP address from Germany but experts were convinced it had come from somewhere closer.

When I check back on this story at 5pm the new was reporting that the threat was most likely a hoax. Even going as far as to say it could even be a disgruntled student. And then LAUSD started feeling the backlash. Some felt that LAUSD overreacted to the threat. On the same day New York schools received a similar email and dismissed it as a hoax right away and called out Los Angeles for overreacting. Parents were upset because they did not have any place for their kids to go such last minute.

My opinion? When it comes to the safety of our children it is always better to be safe than sorry. LAUSD and most school districts deal with threats all the time. On Tuesday LAUSD used their best judgment based on the details of the email as well as the terrorism this country has experienced in the last month and made a decision based on the safety of our children, even if this means inconveniencing some parents. What would those parents have said if LAUSD ignored the threat and god-forbid something happened.

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