To the editor: The immediate, smug and vocal criticism by New York City Police Commissioner William J. Bratton of the Los Angeles Unified School District's proactive response to a threatening email was both unhelpful and unwarranted. ("L.A. defends response to threat that New York dismissed as a hoax," Dec. 16)
In light of the recent massacre in San Bernardino, only minutes away from L.A. by freeway, Los Angeles officials did what they felt was needed to protect our kids. L.A. leaders would never have the poor taste to tell New York officials that they have mishandled their city's security.
I have one thing to tell Bratton: Keep your mouth shut and butt out.
Walter Dominguez, Los Angeles
To the editor: I can't help but think that the fear and panic — and that's what LAUSD's decision and public announcement were largely driven by — had a lot to do with the fact that the email sender identified himself as an "extremist Muslim."
Even otherwise responsible school administrators and law enforcement officials can't seem to reasonably assess a threat in the face of the dreaded M-word, even when it's employed so awkwardly. But that's what our nation has come to. Terrorists are winning, because we're terrified, even when we have no right to be.
There has to be some limit and sense of proportional response to any threat. I find LAUSD's response totally out of proportion to the actual threat, in exactly the same way that, in the wake of the San Bernardino terror attack, people lining up to buy guns was totally out of proportion.
Steven De Salvo, Pasadena
To the editor: I'm not a spokesman for home-schoolers everywhere, but I do speak for the home-schoolers who suffer ridicule for being different and choosing to keep their kids at home.
I hope that L.A. schoolchildren were able to consider what some of their peers were already doing on Tuesday. Staying at home is not complete security or right for all families, but it is right for a lot of families, and telecommuting to school should be more and more the norm in our modern world.
I wish the best of success to all children regardless of where they learn.
Kitchener Harding, Montgomery, Ala.
To the editor: Please people, wake up and use a little common sense. While the feds may have missed some early Facebook writings in Urdu from San Bernardino shooter Tashfeen Malik to her Pakistani friends, the chances of them missing a diabolical plot unleased on all the students and schools in Los Angeles and New York by an amateur jihadist is extremely unlikely.
By responding with the heart rather than the head, L.A. officials have terrified thousands of students unnecessarily. These are already difficult times and they call for a little common sense, something that seems to be in short supply all across the country these days.
Caution is good; investigation and analysis are better.
Stephen White, Studio City
To the editor: As a grandmother of twins who attend L.A. schools, a mother and mother-in-law of district teachers and a former public school teacher, I totally and unequivocally support the LAUSD decision to close all campuses Tuesday.
Bratton was completely unprofessional in his remarks about an overreaction in L.A. How dare he pass judgment so easily on such a difficult and important decision? The trite expression, "united we stand, divided we fall," certainly applies, and Bratton's remarks were extremely divisive.
LAUSD Supt. Ramon C. Cortines did what was right for L.A. Different decisions can be right for different places. Context always matters, and one of the considerations was what had just occurred in neighboring San Bernardino County.
Good job, L.A.; terrible example, New York.
Diane Brunson, Rancho Palos Verdes