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Police increase presence at SF schools in response to LAUSD threat

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Mike Koozmin/S.F. Examiner file 2009
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San Francisco police were increasing their presence at The City’s schools as a precautionary response to a threat that closed a Southern California public school system Tuesday.

The Los Angeles Unified School District, the nation’s second largest school district, shut down its more than 900 public schools and 187 charter schools Tuesday after a school board member received an email that raised fears of another attack like the deadly shooting in nearby San Bernardino.

The increased police presence at the San Francisco Unified School District’s schools, which have not received any threats, is routine when there is a major event elsewhere in the world, police Officer spokesman Albie Esparza said.

“It’s just precaution to make sure we ensure the safety of our students in San Francisco,” Esparza said. “There is no threat in San Francisco, but it’s not unusual to increase presence whether it be a school or a mall.”

Every school within the San Francisco Unified School District is assigned school resource officers, and patrol officers are stepping up their presence around schools as well, Esparza explained.

All 134 pre-kindergarten to 12th grade schools within the SFUSD, which teaches some 56,000 students, remained open Tuesday.

“Student safety is of the utmost importance to SFUSD,” Gentle Blythe, a district spokeswoman, wrote in an email to the San Francisco Examiner. “If we had any reason to believe our students were in danger, we would take every necessary precaution.”

Blythe said in the event of a threat or related school closure, the district would alert staff, students and families in multiple ways.

Families and school site employees would be contacted via the phone, text messages and email, and information would be posted to the district’s website and School Loop, the school parent portals. The information would also be shared on the district’s employee intranet, and on the district’s social media pages including Facebook and Twitter.

The City’s Department of Emergency Management and 311.org would be notified of the same information as well.

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