From shock to fear to glee: Students respond to Los Angeles school closures

Some students had spent the night studying for exams and could not believe their luck. Others felt disbelief melt into terror.

Students had a variety of responses Tuesday morning after all Los Angeles Unified School District schools were closed because of a bomb threat. Students and staff were directed to stay away from campus.

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We asked how the school closures were impacting students, parents, teachers and administrators. Below are some responses from students.


From finals ready to shock

I didn’t even know what to do. I just got off the bus ready to take my final today and felt shocked.

— Ashley Banuelos, student, Animo Jackie Robinson Charter High School


How to escape?

I’m a student and spent my class period thinking about how I would escape my classroom if anything were to happen.

— Wendy Davila, student, North High School

Play some Mario Kart and cuddle with my dog

I was in the shower when I found out. It was about 7:05 AM and I knew I was going to be late to school, but I desperately needed to take a shower. My mom got a phone call from my aunt in Hawthorne asking if I was okay. She said to turn on the news and watch what was happening, so I turned on the KTLA 5 Morning News (my favorite local news source) and watched a press conference with Mr. Cortines. I was relieved that I wasn’t going to be late. I have enough to tardiness as it is, so that was great. I also had three tests planned for today so I’m ecstatic to have an extra day of studying. At the same time, this put our school newspaper in jeopardy and I know that come tomorrow morning, our advisor will push us to get the paper finished. I’m going to play some Mario Kart and cuddle with my dog while watching Friends all over again. And I guess I’ll fit in studying somewhere there, too.

— Luis Valente, student, South East High School

Finals fantasy or nightmare?


This is finals week, so it felt really unreal. It’s the kind of thing that people talk about happening (or in some cases, people even wish would happen), but never actually does, except today it did. It’s a strange feeling. This is a terrifying situation. I’m going to study, and wait for the results of my early action college decision to come later today. I’m frustrated that I don’t know what finals to study for, the ones that were scheduled for today or tomorrow.

— Cameron Chaleff, student, Grover Cleveland High School

I’m scared

I found out this morning right after waking up. My friend called then and told me there was no school because of the threat. I didn’t believe her at first, I didn’t want to. So I went to check for myself. Sure enough, there’s no school. I was in denial initially. I thought it was a joke my friends were putting me up to. But when I searched LAUSD online and saw the situation, I was in shock. I’m scared, because that just makes future attacks a bigger possibility, but at least I have an extra day to study for finals. I plan on sleeping first because I stayed up all night studying.

— Aria Rose, student, Alexander Hamilton Senior High School

I didn’t know if it was a joke


I found out through a friend around 7 in the morning. I didn’t believe it at first. I realized it was real when Telemundo had an emergency broadcast. I was very confused at first. I didn’t know if this was a joke. I was glad there was no school but after I found out that school was being canceled due to bomb threats, it was no longer a joke.

— Valeria Olmedo, student, Alliance Patti and Peter Neuwirth Leadership Academy

Twitter: @dhgerson


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