From Glendale School’s co-interim Supt. Dr. Joel Shawn:
“The purpose of my call is to say thank you for your support and cooperation today. The challenging events that played out in the Los Angeles Unified School District, that caused the closure of all schools there, certainly affected our school communities. It is our utmost responsibility to keep our students safe.
As we shared with you this morning we were in close communication with the Glendale Police Department and the Sheriff’s department and were confident that it was appropriate to keep our schools open and maintain a normal day for our students. Schools will be open tomorrow.
Again, thank you.
On behalf of the board of education, Dr. Marc Winger, and myself we wish you a very happy holiday.
updated 12:38 p.m.
By Mary O’KEEFE
In the most recent press conference concerning Los Angeles Unified School District, more information concerning the threat that sparked the closing of all district schools was provided.
“A threat was made via email to all campuses was received last night that threatened violence to a number of campuses,” said L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti.
The initial investigation apparently has determined the threat to be a hoax.
“While we continue to gather information about the threat made against the Los Angeles and New York School departments, the preliminary assessment is that it was a hoax or something designed to disrupt school districts in large cities. The investigation is ongoing as to where the threat originated from and who was responsible,” stated Congressman Adam Schiff, ranking member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, in a released statement after receiving a preliminary briefing.
“The safety of our communities and particularly our young people is paramount. At the same time, in an environment in which it is very easy to transmit threats, real and otherwise, and when fear and disruption may be the goal as well as the effect, communities and law enforcement will need to make a difficult judgment as to how to respond in a variety of circumstances. The goal of the intelligence and federal law enforcement community should be to assist local authorities with as timely information as possible to help inform those judgments. I will continue to urge the intelligence and federal law enforcement community to share as much information as it can, as quickly as it is able.”
The LAUSD superintendent and school board decided to close down the schools after receiving the “credible threat.” It had earlier been reported the threat was received this morning; however, it has been confirmed by Los Angeles Police Dept. that the email was received last night.
The threat of violence was directed specifically to LAUSD schools. It has now been discovered that New York Unified School District had also received a similar threat. The district officials decided not to close their schools though.
Glendale Unified School District has not received any similar threats, according to ConnectEd phone calls sent to district parents. All GUSD schools remain open.
Crescenta Valley High School Principal Linda Junge released a ConnectEd and email response to parent concerns:
“As CV has received calls and questions related to the closure of a neighboring school district, I am reassuring all that we are safe, campus is secure, and school is going on despite LA Unified closing schools due to a threat specific to them. I echo what was shared this morning by GUSD in an all-call to families:
School is in session.
Campus is secure.
Finals are continuing as normal today.
There is no threat to CV or Glendale schools.
Know that Glendale Unified is working closely with law enforcement. Should there be any concern, we will take appropriate action and inform families as soon as possible. Again, there is no threat to CV, and school is in session.
Good luck to students as they take their finals today, tomorrow and Thursday. “
This is finals week at GUSD schools as well as many LAUSD schools.
Although the investigation is ongoing some information regarding the threat was shared at the recent press conference.
“The email was very specific to Los Angeles Unified School District campuses and it included all of them. It was also very specific about the implied threat, the implied threat was [of] explosive devices, the specific threat was to attack with assault rifles and machine pistols,” said LAPD Chief Charlie Beck. “The original document was routed through a European country, Germany, but the origin has yet to be determined and we believe to be much closer than Germany.”
Beck then turned his attention to criticism concerning the district wide closure as “irresponsible.”
According to reports, former LAPD chief and current New York Police Commissioner Bill Bratton criticized the LAUSD decision to close referring to their reaction as an overreaction. The New York district decided the threat was not viable and did not close schools.
LAUSD Superintendent Ramon Cortines said it was his decision to make the call to close the schools and the school agreed. The decision was not made by LAPD or the mayor’s office; however, both offices support Superintendent Cortines.
“These are very high stakes,” Beck said of the tough decision to close the schools. “This is the safety of our children. There is no more important decision.”
Schiff echoed the safety first sentiment that inspired the closure.
“The safety of our communities and particularly our young people is paramount. At the same time, in an environment in which it is very easy to transmit threats, real and otherwise, and when fear and disruption may be the goal as well as the effect, communities and law enforcement will need to make a difficult judgment as to how to respond in a variety of circumstances. The goal of the intelligence and federal law enforcement community should be to assist local authorities with as timely information as possible to help inform those judgments. I will continue to urge the intelligence and federal law enforcement community to share as much information as it can, as quickly as it is able,” he stated.
“In an abundance of caution we have chosen to close our schools today,” said Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Ramon Cortines at an early morning press conference.
All of LAUSD schools are closed today, Tuesday, due to a “credible threat” to the safety of students and staff.
“We received an electronic threat early this morning,” said LA School Police Dept. Chief Steven Zipperman.
The threat received did not pertain to any other districts. Glendale Unified School District sent out a ConnectEd to parents stating the district is aware of the threats to LAUSD and have been in contact with the Glendale Police Dept.
“There are no threats to GUSD schools,” the ConnectEd stated.
Not all GUSD schools are within the GPD district. If there were any threats made to the unincorporated area of Los Angeles County/La Crescenta, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Dept. would have been notified. They have not received any information concerning any threats.
La Cañada Unified Schools are open as well.
LAUSD schools include those in Sunland/Tujunga and Eagle Rock.
“Verdugo Hills High School is closed today, 12/15/15, per the direction of the superintendent. Staff will be receiving an e-mail with more information pertaining to them. Please look here and on Facebook or Twitter for updates,” according to the VHHS website.
The LAUSD schools are being searched throughout the day for anything “out of line,” Cortines said.
LA Schools Police Dept. has requested the assistance of the LA Sheriffs Dept. to assist in a search operation of all LAUSD schools after an unspecified threat was received, according to a LASD statement.
The threat, according to Cortines, was broad threatening many schools.
“This is a rare threat,” he said.
The school district is used to dealing with threats however this was unusual because it targeted so many schools and was not specific, Corines said.
“As superintendent I am not going to take the chance with the life of a student,” he added.
CVW will continue to monitor and share updates.