FBI says online hoax threatened violence at several Bay Area schools

EMERYVILLE, Calif. (KGO) -- Investigators are blaming an online hoax for shutting down schools in Emeryville and other cities around the Bay Area.

Now, ABC7 News is learning that more schools in the Bay Area may have been affected than initially thought.

The Emeryville school district says it learned of a potential threat and passed the information on to police. In the meantime, they shut down the city's elementary school and high school, which share the same campus.

Emeryville police believe the threat was part of a dare that originated with an online gaming community overseas. The challenge, police said in a statement, was apparently to see who could generate the most school evacuations in the U.S. and the U.K.

RELATED: Graffiti threats force two school closures in Bay Area

The FBI says they're working with local law enforcement to determine the validity of the threats, but they say they do not appear to be legitimate. They have not confirmed whether these threats originated from overseas.

Below are the school districts that we have confirmed have been affected:

Alameda County School Districts:
Officials say at least 13 of the 18 Alameda County School Districts received the email on Monday. All immediately reached out to local law enforcement.

San Mateo County:
The county confirms that the San Mateo County Office of Education, the county superintendent and Cabrillo Unified School District received hoax emails Monday morning. They say that is only one district of 23 in the county, and about half the schools are on spring break and operations were not disturbed there.

Contra Costa County:
The county says at least nine of the 19 districts received a hoax threat email. Parents were contacted by all districts.

Sonoma County:
Officials did not give a specific number, but the Office of Education says that "many" of the 40 school districts in the county were threatened. They provided more information here.

Oakland Unified School District:

The school district says they received at least one of these emails but it did not disrupt normal school operations.

San Ramon Valley Unified School District:

Brentwood Unified School District:

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