LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 07: A classroom at the Carson-Gore Academy of Environmental Sciences is seen on September 7, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. The $75.5-million elementary school, which was named after former vice president Al Gore and pioneering environmentalist Rachel Carson, and which will open September 13 for about 675 students, was built atop an environmentally contaminated piece of real estate. Construction crews replaced the toxic soil, which contained more than a dozen underground storage tanks, with clean fill over the Labor Day weekend. (Photo : Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Classes in the Los Angeles Unified School District were cancelled Tuesday after an "electronic threat" was received early during the day. Although a similar one was delivered to New York, schools conducted classes as usual.
"Superintendent Ramon Cortines said the 'message' referred to backpacks and 'other packages,'" CNN reported. "He said many schools were threatened, though none by name. The threat was toward students in schools (as opposed to on buses)."
The said threat was emailed to various people on the LAUSD school board, prompting concern from the authorities in the area. It was revealed that the said email mentioned bombs, assault rifles, and pistols. It appeared the email was routed through Germany but is suspected to be originally coming from somewhere near the US.
Although such threats are not new to the school district, the recent attacks in San Bernardino, California and Paris had put authorities on high alert on possible terrorist acts in the country and thus influenced the decision to suspend classes.
"The superintendent said he's asked authorities to search all of the roughly 900 charter and K-12 schools in his district 'before the day is over,'" CNN said. "He promised a statement that could offer more information about what prompted his decision and lay out what will happen next."
Hours afterwards, it was announced that classes will resume Wednesday after it was determined that the threat was a hoax. More than 1,500 sites had already been inspected and cleared.
"Some have used words that I think are probably inappropriate like hoax and other things," commented Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. "Whether it's criminal mischief, whether it's somebody testing vulnerabilities of multiple cities, we still do not know enough to say definitively."
"What we do know is that it will be safe for our children to return to school tomorrow," he concluded, as noted by The Los Angeles Times.
However, prior to the confirmation that the threat was bogus, a US congressman had already declared that the message appeared to be fake.
"The preliminary assessment is that it was a hoax or something designed to disrupt school districts in large cities," Rep. Adam Schiff's statement on the matter read. "The investigation is ongoing as to where the threat originated from and who was responsible."
Meanwhile, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio noted that the message, which the East Coast city also received, appeared to be "so generic, so outlandish" in its composition in that it did not warrant a shutdown in NY schools.
"It entailed so much detail and was so over the top with so many people involved in the conspiracy that it didn't add up," commented NYPD Deputy Commissioner Stephen P. Davis, adding that it appeared to be a "cut and paste job."