By The Prophet of Life
A hoax email convinced the Board Members and Superintendent of The Los Angeles Unified School District to close down all 900 schools in its jurisdiction yesterday. The closure affected 650,000 students. There are some who criticize district officials for the closure. I am not one of them.
Former Los Angeles Police department Chief Bill Bratton, who is currently the police Chief for New York City told news media that The New York City School District got the same emails but decided not to close any schools. Why? Because they determined that the Email was a hoax.
Bratton told reporters that things like a claim to be a Jihadist group while spelling the name of Allah beginning with a lower case a instead of a capital a and the fact that Jihadists don’t tell you what they are going to do, they do it and then claim it, were tell tale signs that the email was not credible.
The Superintendent and Board Members of the LAUSD are not intelligence experts. They had no way of knowing that the threats in the email were a hoax. They acted in the best interests of their employees and students in their charge and closed the district down. Then they searched over 900 school campuses and every school bus in the district. It cost the district millions. But it taught lessons that is far more valuable than money.
It taught district officials what they did well and what they need to improve on. It taught parents who may not have given the district their correct contact information why they need to provide that information to the district. It taught the children of the district that the adults in their lives care about their safety.
People may criticize the district for falling for the hoax but what if a terrorist organization sent an email that looked like a hoax to fool district officials into discounting it only to set off bombs throughout the district causing a considerable number of injuries and deaths? The school district acted heroically and, in a savvy move most people didn’t notice, the school board members got the on the way out the door retired Superintendent Ramon Cortines to make the decision and announcement, thereby protecting themselves from any backlash if the email turned out not to be credible.
The School District isn’t to blame for its actions. The Office of Homeland Security is. When it was started, the Office of Homeland Security was supposed to be a the one organization that was in charge of all government agencies dealing with national protection and security. Both the school districts in Los Angeles and New York should have called the Office of Homeland Security which should have had experts vet the email. This did not happen because the Office of Homeland Security didn’t have any protocols in place to insure that the school districts were required to do so. The biggest lesson from the entire incident should have learned by The office of Homeland Security.
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