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L.A. school threat: Deserted campuses, anxiety and questions

Zayda Hernandez pulled up to Mayberry Elementary School shortly after 7:30 a.m. Tuesday with her 6-year-old son, Matthew Alvarez, bundled up in a coat and SpongeBob SquarePants stocking cap in the back seat.

He hadn’t been feeling well, so she’s been urging him to just make it the last few days of kindergarten.

Hernandez pulled up to see paper signs with purple marker attached to the closed chain-link fence: “No school today.” “Hoy no hay escuela.”

LAUSD threat live updates: ‘Credible threat’ closes all schools>>

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“No school!” she said, rolling down her window, shaking her head.

She said she had been driving from her home near Chinatown when she heard on a Spanish-language radio station that schools would be closed. But it was so late, and there was a private school she knew of that was open, so she wanted to check just to be sure.

“I pulled up and thought, ‘There’s no traffic, so maybe it’s true.’

Hernandez showed an alert from Mayberry administrators she got on her smartphone at 7:22 a.m., saying that at 7:10 the superintendent had decided to close schools: “Do not send your child to school. Please watch the news for further updates.”

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She said she couldn’t believe how late it came. “7:22, hello!”

Hernandez wasn’t sure what to do. She works for the county and was going to take her son and try to get a vacation day.

Her son grinned. “I thought there was school today!” he said.

Parents, how are you feeling about the school threats? >>

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A few minutes later, another woman pulled up. She lives nearby, and her grandchildren, 10 and 11, attend the school. She was to bring them but heard the news. Still, she drove up just in case any children had been left by parents who didn’t know.

“I was going to tell them, ‘Go home. Call your mom.’”

hailey.branson@latimes.com

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