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Los Angeles schools closed by ‘credible threat’ of violence

By Veronica Rocha

Los Angeles Times

LOS ANGELES — Officials closed all Los Angeles Unified School District campuses Tuesday morning after receiving a “credible threat” of violence involving backpacks and packages left at campuses.

Authorities said they planned a search operation of all of the LAUSD’s more than 900 schools. The nation’s second-largest school district has more than 700,000 students.

“I think it’s important to take this precaution based on what has happened recently and what has happened in the past,” LAUSD Superintendent Ramon Cortines said.

The move comes less than two weeks after two shooters killed 14 people in San Bernardino in what was the deadliest terrorist attack on U.S. soil since 9/11.

Fearing the safety of schools and its students, Cortines said he couldn’t take a chance, so he was asking police to search all campuses, adult school and early education centers before reopening Wednesday.

Officials said the threat came in electronic form and was made to numerous but unspecified campuses. As a result, they made the decision to close them all down for the day.

Cortines said the threat was rare, considering the many threats the districts receives daily.

The Los Angeles Police Department and FBI were assisting with the threat investigation, said Los Angeles School Police Chief Steve Zipperman.

“The threat is still being analyzed,” he said. “We have chosen to close our schools today until we can be sure our campuses are safe.”

Students who had already arrived at school were being supervised until parents could pick them up, officials said.

“Parents/Guardians please bring proper ID when picking up your child at school. They will be required,” the LAUSD said in a statement.

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