New York City school officials confirmed that they received the same bomb threat early on Tuesday, December15, which had prompted the closure of the Los Angeles school system earlier, reports Vos Is Neias. Police quickly reached a conclusion, however, that it was a malicious joke.
Mayor Bill de Blasio told reporters that he is “absolutely convinced” that there was no danger to schoolchildren in New York, reports Fox 4 KC. “There was nothing credible about the threat. It was so outlandish,” added de Blasio.
The threat, they said, came in the form of a “generic” email sent to many cities around the country. In New York, it was received by a school superintendent early Tuesday morning, which was quickly discredited by New York officials.
Los Angeles Unified School District officials say they closed all of the system’s more than 900 schools and 187 public charter schools as a precaution.
New York Police Commissioner William Bratton said he thought Los Angeles officials engaged in a “significant overreaction” by deciding to close the nation’s second-largest school system.
Bratton said the person who wrote the note claimed to be a jihadist, but made errors that made it clear the person was a prankster, including spelling the word “Allah” with a lowercase “a.” “We cannot allow ourselves to raise levels of fear,” Bratton said.
At 9:40 a.m., ABC News reported that a law enforcement official briefed on the investigation said the threat involved bombs in students’ backpacks. The official wasn’t authorized to speak about an ongoing investigation and insisted on anonymity.
District spokeswoman Shannon Haber says the threat was emailed to a school board member late Monday, as reported by the Associated Press.