LA officials defend decision to close schools after terrorism threat

New York officials and experts criticized the decision to keep roughly 700,000 students home on Tuesday.

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Two cities on opposite coasts—Los Angeles and New York—received similar threats, but their crisis responses were worlds apart.

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”:

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