The Latest on school threats: More cities report emails

December 17, 2015

MIAMI (AP) — The latest news on “less-than-credible” threats sent to school districts around the country Wednesday night. All times local:

1:35 p.m.

Districts in Orlando, Florida, and Long Beach, California, have joined the list of school systems that received email threats that were deemed to be “less than credible.”

Orange County Superintendent Barbara Jenkins said during a news conference Thursday in Orlando that the email was sent to the district’s general email late Wednesday. Law enforcement was notified and checked it out, and then schools opened Thursday morning. Jenkins says principals in the nation’s 10th largest school district have been asked to stay alert and keep students calm.

Officials in Long Beach say the district received an email threat similar to the ones in other cities. Schools opened for the district’s 79,000 students on Thursday. Long Beach is adjacent to Los Angeles, where the nation’s second-largest school district shut down Tuesday out of caution after receiving an emailed threat.


12:15 p.m.

Houston school district police Chief Robert Mock says nothing unusual has been found following email threats that prompted random searches of schools.

Mock says explosives detecting dogs and extra patrols responded after the email was received Wednesday night. He says so far everything is normal Thursday and kids are in school.

He says the threat was received by the superintendent and other people in the school district. The messages were similar to those sent to Los Angeles and New York City earlier this week. Emails were also sent to school systems in Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Houston.

Mock says he doesn’t want to downplay the message because “a threat is a threat.” He says the email referred to weapons and explosives among unsophisticated content that was “so far over the top the logistics just didn’t pan out.”


9:30 a.m.

Two central Indiana school districts canceled Thursday’s classes after officials said threats were made against their schools.

Danville Community School Corporation canceled classes following alleged threats, including threats from two students who’ve been arrested.

The nearby Plainfield Community School Corporation just west of Indianapolis also canceled classes due to a threat “directed to the high school.”

Danville Police Chief William Wright says a 14-year-old freshman and a 17-year-old sophomore were arrested early Thursday after the boys allegedly made threats against Danville schools in separate incidents.

Wright says a third threat posted on social media early Thursday and apparently “tied to the Plainfield School Corporation threat” had prompted Danville schools to cancel its classes.

Danville Community School Corporation Superintendent Tracey Shafer says the individual making the threats against Danville schools may have also threatened Plainfield schools.


8:30 a.m.

The Dallas Independent School District received a similar threat to the ones sent to Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Houston school officials on Wednesday night.

The district announced on its website that schools were opening Thursday after an emailed threat sent to several school district staff and teachers at Pinkston High School and Martinez Elementary School was deemed non-credible. The emails were sent Wednesday night.

District officials were immediately notified and the school system’s police department activated its emergency protocol. They’re working with law enforcement agencies to make sure students are safe.

Schools in South Florida and Houston also opened Thursday with extra security on hand.

Officials say the emails are similar to ones received earlier in the week in Los Angeles and New York City.


7 a.m.

School officials in Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Houston say they’re beefing up security on campuses after receiving threats similar to the ones received by the Los Angeles and New York school districts earlier this week.

The Miami-Dade County Public Schools and Houston Independent School District announced on their websites that “less-than-credible” threats were received late Wednesday evening. Both school districts plan to open as usual Thursday.

In Miami, school district police immediately contacted law enforcement agencies and decided to open schools.

In Houston, officials said law enforcement officers were making sweeps of school district buildings to ensure student safety. They encouraged parents and students to be vigilant Thursday morning and report any suspicious activity to police.

In a tweet sent Thursday morning, Broward County Public Schools in South Florida also said a threat had been received, but students should report to school as usual.