Former FBI agent says Los Angeles school officials made right decision

Former FBI agent says Los Angeles school officials made right decision

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Local school leaders said Monday's shutdown of the Los Angeles school system has them re-examining their own procedures.

While New York said it received a similar threat and chose to not shut schools, a former FBI special agent said Los Angeles school leaders did the right thing.

"A parent in this country would much rather attend a child's graduation, than their funeral," said former agent Jim Bernazzani.

The decision to close isn't being universally accepted.  New York City official said they received a similar threat but kept their schools open.

"If this call came in after 9/11, New York would have done the same thing," Bernazzani said.

It is a problem few want to confront.

"You never want to contemplate or speculate about these awful actions," Gov. Bobby Jindal said Monday.

Jindal said he's keeping an eye on the Los Angeles situation and is confident Louisiana could handle a similar threat should it happen here.

"I have confidence our law enforcement is doing everything they can, but it's not right to say we have to harden everything. It's much better to defeat terrorism abroad," Jindal said.

Bernazzani said authorities weighed all their options before reacting to the threat – now deemed a hoax – that appears to have come from overseas.

"I can't blame LA because San Bernadino was less than two weeks ago, a horrific event." said Bernazzani.

Bernazzani said the terror threat is different.

"It's multi-ethnic and amorphous to include kids from the United States," he said.

He said the realities of the war on terrorism require full attention.

"Our greatest attribute is not an FBI agent, it's the hundreds of thousands of eyes of American people doing their daily tasks," he said.

Bernazzani urges everyone to remain alert and have a plan to deal with any terror threat that may come.

Orleans parish school superintendent Henderson Lewis said an emergency plan has been sent out to all parish schools. It details lockdown and emergency dismissal procedures for students. He also said the system has the capability to send mass text messages, emails, and robocalls in an emergency.

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