Crime

Miami-Dade Schools Open Today Despite Threats of Violence Similar to L.A., NYC

Monday night, identical threats promising bloody attacks were sent to public school systems in Los Angeles and New York. L.A. went ballistic, shutting down all schools Tuesday at a cost of millions to taxpayers; New York, meanwhile, deemed the threats a "hoax" and went on with its business. 

Last night, it was Miami-Dade schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho's turn to make that call after his district received a similar threat. Carvalho is following New York's lead. He says that the threats are "less than credible" and that schools will be open today.

"Awareness, preparedness, vigilance, communication, but not fear, must continue to be the appropriate actions to less than credible threats," Carvalho tweeted. 

In fact, it seems that whoever is behind the threats has had a busy week. Miami wasn't the only district to receive the latest version of the attack warnings; nearly identical threats also hit the school systems in Broward County and Houston last night. Both of those systems also opted to stay open today. 

“All Broward County Public Schools will be open today, Thursday, 12/17, as usual, following a less-than-credible threat,” the district said in a statement.

In hindsight, most experts have slammed L.A.'s decision to close over the initial round of threats. Why was New York able to quickly decide the threats were nonsense when L.A. couldn't?

"What L.A. demonstrated was leadership incompetent to make good decisions, willing to say nonsense, and manage with slogans," an editorial in the San Francisco Chronicle stated.  

Given that precedent, staying open today probably wasn't such a tough call for Carvalho or his Broward and Houston counterparts. Still, Carvalho has ordered extra security for schools across the county today. 

"In an abundance of caution, additional resources have been deployed to schools," the district said in a release. 
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Tim Elfrink is a former investigative reporter and managing editor for Miami New Times. He has won the George Polk Award and was a finalist for the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting.
Contact: Tim Elfrink