The Moral Burdens of Responding to Bomb Threats

threatThis week LA schools closed while NYC schools stayed open over similar bomb and shooting threats. Parents in both districts are upset. The text of one email is included below for your own judgment on its credibility.

On one hand, threats cannot be simply ignored. Students and staff all over the country suffer periodic shootings, pipe bombs and arson with and without prior warning. Not every lead or suspicion can be verified in a timely, and those trusted with the lives of our children must react to threats before all the facts are in. Failure to prevent even a botched attack puts lives, careers, and the stability of the local education system at risk.

On the other hand, threats are easy to make. Hundreds of thousands of people were affected by a couple anonymous emails. Parents missed work, students missed lessons, and patients missed appointments. Law enforcement was tied up. People were worried. Our lives and economy can’t function if any fool with an Internet connection can spook us into running in circles. Administrators are also responsible for educating students, and need leadership skills to assess threats appropriately and keep schools running as normally as is safe.

With so much at stake, these administrators deserve appreciation for the heavy burden of making tough decisions.

Here is the email sent to LA Unified School District. How would you react to it in your Inbox?



I am emailing you to inform you of the happenings on Tuesday, 12/15/15.

Something big is going down. Something very big. It will make national headlines. Perhaps, even international ones. You see, my last 4 years here at one of the district high schools has been absolute hell. Pure, unmitigated, agony. The bullying, the loneliness, the rejection… it is never-ending. And for what? Just because I’m ‘different’?

No. No more. I am a devout Muslim, and was once against violence, but I have teamed up with a local jihadist cell as it is the only way I’ll be able to accomplish my massacre the correct way. I would not be able to do it alone. Me, and my 32 comrades, will die tomorrow in the name of Allah. Every school in the L.A. Unified district is being targeted. We have bombs hidden in lockers already at several schools. They are strategically placed and are meant to crumble the foundations of the very buildings that monger so much hate and discrimination. They are pressure cooker bombs, hidden in backpacks around the schools. They are loaded with 20 lbs. of gunpowder, for maximum damage. They will be detonated via Cell Phone. Not only are there bombs, but there are nerve gas agents set to go off at a specific time: during lunch hour. To top it off, my brothers in Allah and I have Kalashnikov rifles, Glock 18 Machine pistols, and multiple handheld grenades. The students at every school in the L.A. Unified district will be massacred, mercilessly. And there is nothing you can do to stop it.

If you do end up trying to, by perhaps, beefing up security, or canceling classes for the day, it won’t matter. Your security will not be able to stop us. We are an army of Allah. If you cancel classes, the bombings will take place regardless, and we will bring our guns to the streets and offices of Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Bakersfield, and San Diego.

I wish you the best luck. It is time to pray to allah, as this may be your last day.


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Jay is Editor In Chief of The Agonist, veteran and technologist.

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