Now, in the wake of Tuesday’s terrorism threat, LA officials are defending their decision to shut down schools amidst criticism.
The decision, made in the second-largest school district in the United States, affected roughly 700,000 students—more than twice the population of Iceland and more than seven times the capacity of the Rose Bowl football stadium, CNN reported.
In contrast, New York City officials deemed the threat a hoax and did not close schools. No incidents of terrorism occurred in either school system.
David Katz, a former special agent for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, told CNN that Los Angeles Unified School District’s superintendent, Ramon Cortines, made “a big mistake”:
“You do not under any circumstance take action unless the threat is corroborated,” Katz said. “For example, if a high-rise office building gets a bomb threat in New York City, the police department is not going to come over and evacuate your building absent some credible information.”