The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) received notice of a terror bomb threat, which is now being deemed a hoax, on Monday night. Yet it took until 7:09 a.m. the next morning for the district to begin notifying parents that the school would be closed on Tuesday.
The move was both blasted and defended by public figures across the nation.
The Los Angeles Times points out that the first general notification from the LAUSD was sent in the form of a recording in English and Spanish at 7:09 a.m., but pointed out that as of 7:30 the district’s website had not even been updated with the vital information.
It was only an hour after the 7:09 a.m. initial bilingual phone message that the website added a rolling red banner across its screen to inform parents and students that school was out for the day. The banner read “School is out today to ensure safety of students.”
Breitbart News spoke with officials at several elementary schools, who said their school gates open at 7:30 a.m. and classes generally begin at 7:55 a.m.
Yet it took until 8:15 a.m. for a district-wide robocall to go out, and it took until around 9:30 a.m. for the LAUSD’s website to feature a pop-up saying all schools were closed, notes the Times.
School District Superintendent Ramon Cortines made the decision to close the schools out of an abundance of caution, and especially in light of the recent San Bernardino terrorist attack. He said the threat, which involved backpacks, explosives and other packages, was aimed at many schools in the district.
New York had also received a similar threat on Monday and decided to keep schools open after deciding the threat was not credible.
Despite criticism from former LAPD officer and current NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton, former Mayor of New York Rudio Giuliani on Wednesday came out in support of the LAUSD’s decision to close its schools during an appearance on Fox and Friends.
As the late message traveled slowly across the city, an unfortunate accident claimed the life of 17-year-old Andres Perez of Montebello. The LAUSD student was struck by an L.A. city street services truck while crossing a street.
Perez was a student at the Los Angeles International Charter High School on Coleman Avenue, and was reportedly en route to school around 7:30 a.m. He had just been accepted to film school at Cal State L.A.
The Times noted that the charter school is not part of the Los Angeles Unified School District but decided to close Tuesday morning because it was near LAUSD schools.
One LAPD officer on the scene said Perez had his cellphone and was wearing headphones as he walked in the intersection. The truck driver was reportedly distraught. The Times described him as “sitting on the curb by the front of the parked truck… holding his face in his hands and crying hysterically.”