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LAUSD Threat and Crisis Communication

By Suzanne Spurgeon  December 15, 2015

LAPD Chief Charlie Beck is hitting back after NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton was critical of LAUSD's decision to close public schools throughout the district following a threat.  It's too soon to know if the threat is a hoax or a credible threat to the district's 640,000 students, and some 70,000 employees.  Bratton and other NYC officials deemed a similar threat to the public schools in New York to be a hoax and schools remained open today.  Two cities and two very different approaches to a possible crisis.  Both Beck and Bratton have plenty of experience in crisis communication.  But I have to wonder why Bratton found it necessary to publically criticize LA's decision at this stage.  The all clear has not been called.  He is a former LAPD Chief and perhaps he believes that gives him some ownership too.  

At a news conference Beck said it was "irresponsible to criticize the decision."  He spoke of the tough times we are living in and said that LAUSD officials have three quarters of a million lives to consider when a decision like this is made.  Beck's comments were measured and he came off as reasonable, not angry.  

Combing through social media posts, I have found many parents and teachers support LAUSD's decision.


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