LAUSD Bomb Threats

Britney Lopez, Staff Writer

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On December 15, 2015,  a bomb threat was sent to LAUSD (Los Angeles Unified School District) via email. That same morning, over 900 schools shut down due to fear of the threat. Police and the FBI checked every school thoroughly. Later, the email was found not credible. The email was traced back to Frankfurt.

When I arrived at school that morning, it was the only thing anyone talked about. Most HMSA students were nervous. Some students thought the school should have closed because we live in Los Angeles. Senior Abanob S. commented, “It doesn’t make sense that we’re still open. The Hawthorne Superintendent spoke on the intercom and said that the bomb threats did not affect the Hawthorne School District. However, that doesn’t mean that we’re completely isolated from the threats. LAUSD schools are about 5 miles away. That’s about 10 minutes, meaning that HMSA is in close proximity to the threats.”

Ms. Morris, a teacher at HMSA, believed that the fear was exaggerated: “I understand why LAUSD decided to shut down schools, but I feel it’s important not to create a culture of fear.  Recent terrorist attacks have been the work of small groups of individuals and have affected relatively small numbers of people; it is not to say as if we were invaded by an enemy nation.  Therefore, the general population should not feel personally under attack.  Otherwise, we are likely to overreact and make emotional decisions that we may, as a nation, come to regret.”

These bomb threats clearly displayed the aftermath of the recent shootings. A similar threat was also made to New York, but it was dismissed as a hoax. Why did the two largest school systems react differently to the email? The tragedy of the San Bernandino shooting has put our county of Los Angeles on alert and is probably the reason for taking these threats very seriously. The fear behind these threats was ubiquitous. HMSA students definitely felt uneasy that day to say the least. Taking precautions is necessary, but exaggerating this fear does not help the situation whatsoever. We all remember the “outbreak” of the Ebola Virus in the United States. After a couple people contracted the disease, the media immediately referred to it as an outbreak. We tend to amplify our panic, but we have to understand that embedding paranoia is not a solution.

Our county of Los Angeles must stay calm if something else like this happens. It’s important for us to be aware and involved while remaining composed.

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