Editor’s note: This story was updated to correct the name of a school.
Students of Catholic schools in the Los Angeles area are being evacuated around midday Monday after the Archdiocese of Los Angeles received “an email veiled threat.”
In a parent alert sent by Deb Stevens of Paraclete High School said they needed to evacuate campus “as a precaution” after the threat was sent to “100s of Archdiocesan and private schools,” according to a post to X, formerly Twitter, by independent journalist Anthony Cabassa.
A message to the Bishop Amat Memorial High School community clarified that the email was sent to “Catholic and non-Catholic schools.”
“While there is no current evidence to suggest that this threat was credible, law enforcement has been contacted and out of an abundance of caution and at the direction of the Department of Catholic Schools, we will be canceling classes for today,” school President Richard Beck wrote.
Damien High School in La Verne also canceled classes and “is working with the Archdiocese of Los Angeles to ensure the safety of all students,” a school official said in an email.
Aerial video from Sky5 showed a police presence near the Damien campus.
La Verne police, meanwhile, indicated that they do not believe the threat is real.
“Earlier this morning, the La Verne Police Department notified the Bonita Unified School District that Damien High School was being evacuated and closed for the remainder of the day in response to a threat against private schools in the area,” police wrote on Facebook. “Following further investigation, the threat appears to have come from overseas and has been deemed not credible by LVPD.
“Bonita Unified schools will remain open.”
Our Lady of Victory Catholic School at 601 E. Palmer St. in Compton was also affected, according to a spokesperson for the archdiocese. That spokesperson said the threat was reminiscent of a similar situation in Baltic countries last week.
“This morning a few of our Catholic schools along with other non-Catholic schools received a spam email threating school safety that is similar to an email distributed to schools and institutions in Europe last week that was found to be not credible and meant to cause disruption, panic and fear,” the statement said. “The schools that received the email cancelled classes for the day out of an abundance of caution while the matter was being investigated. The Archdiocese is working with law enforcement and there is no evidence of a credible threat at our schools. All Catholic schools in the Archdiocese have been asked to follow our usual safety protocols.”