Teacher Defies L.A. School Terror Threat With Homework

Every public school in Los Angeles was closed Tuesday because of a terror threat, but that didn't stop one teacher from assigning a final essay to her senior English class.

Students attacked 30-year-old Cassandra McGrath as "savage" after she insisted her class complete their final writing test even though the entire school system was closed.

McGrath told Time she didn't want terrorists' to jeopardize her students' education and future college prospects.

"No one is going to deny your right to get an education. It's your right. No one is going to silence your ability to write an essay for me."

She later added, "I guess they don't see it the same way."

Many of her students didn't feel the same way, and they took to Twitter to express their frustration with a teacher who continued to assign work on their impromptu day off.

Students attacked McGrath on Twitter, describing her as "crazy" for insisting her students complete a first draft of their essay, reports Time.

Below is a tweet that was later removed.

"When you have a savage teacher and she still wants you to complete her final even though there's no school."

The assignment was to write the first draft of an essay about whether juveniles should be tried as adults. It would have been an in-class assignment if the terror threat hadn't closed the entire school district. The essay was scheduled to account for 10 percent of their grade.

Other students also posted to Twitter, saying they hated their teacher for requiring the assignment, reports Time.

"We probably dying and s**t and she will be like your hands still work there is no excuse."

The complaints about homework came after officials at the Los Angeles Unified School District received a credible electronic terror threat describing an imminent attack with assault rifles and backpacks with bombs, according to CNN.

The closure affected more than 900 public schools and 187 charter schools attended by some 640,000 students, the second largest school district in the nation.

The terror message was emailed to district board members early Tuesday morning. It was routed through Germany, but authorities believe it could have originated much closer.

New York School officials received a similar threat, but they decided it was a hoax.

Although Los Angeles parents and school officials were horrified at the terror threat leveled against them, many of the students rejoiced at missing their final exams. Some of them took to Twitter to express their joy at being able to skip their final exams.

Maybe that's why McGrath's students were so angry at being forced to continue their school work.

The senior English teacher told Time she was just trying to protect her students education, and she was surprised at their outrage.

"Colleges have to get their grades. I wanted to make sure they had time to write it. I just wanted to make sure they had all the opportunities possible."
Meanwhile, a 17-year-old student was struck and killed by a city service truck while crossing the street near his charter school after it was closed.

The student was traveling to Los Angeles International Charter High School at 7:30 a.m. when the city truck hit him. The school district's closure announcement came late enough in the morning that students were still making their way to school.

Clifford Moseley, the school's executive director, told the Los Angeles Times the student had just been accepted to the film school at Cal State L.A.

"He was a very good student. Very popular. Good kid."

[Photo by Richard Vogel/AP]