My article as originally published in American Thinker:
On Tuesday, the entire Los Angeles Unified School District was shut down and more than 640,000 kids were forced to stay home due to a “credible terror threat” received via email. Fortunately, it turned out to be just a hoax, but following the terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, everyone is on edge, and it’s clear that Islamic FUD has taken root.
Creating an atmosphere of FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt) is a powerful tool in the arsenal of the Islamic terrorists. FUD is what enables a small number of jihadists to commit a violent act and subsequently causes millions to alter their behavior in the aftermath. The emotional and financial costs of FUD can be staggering.
Tuesday’s shutdown of LA schools is a perfect example. While FUD certainly caused an overreaction to a perceived “terror threat,” beyond the emotional response there was also an enormous cost burden placed upon the taxpayers. Before we even get to the expense of law enforcement and parents missing work, think of the fiscal consequences of keeping more than 640,000 kids out of school for one day.
I’ll use round numbers for simplicity, but we know that average K-12 education spending per pupil (from all sources, not just state funding) in California currently tops $12,000 per year and that there are about 175 school days per school year in the state. This means that the cost for each student is about $68 per day of instruction. Multiply that by 640,000 kids, and astonishingly, this one email hoax wasted more than $43,000,000 of the taxpayers’ education dollars.
A few more days like this, and we’ll be talking about some real money ($43 million is surely a simple rounding error for Governor Brown). I’m confident the terrorists are pretty darn good at math and understand this all too well. In addition to worries over Islamic FUD, it’s clear that the recurring response to Islamic terrorism from the Obama administration is leaving the American people with presidential FUD on the brain.