EASTON, Conn. -- After students were evacuated for a bomb threat at Helen Keller Middle School in Easton on Wednesday March 23, state Sen. Tony Hwang called for harsher penalties against those who threaten violence at schools.
"First and foremost, I commend law enforcement and school officials from Easton and surrounding towns who did an excellent job in responding to this situation," Hwang said in a statement."Second, school threats have become an epidemic, not only in Connecticut, but across the country. In recent months, threats of violence have forced lockdowns of schools in Stamford, Hartford, Fairfield, West Haven and Bristol," said Hwang, who represents Easton, Fairfield, Newtown, Weston and Westport.
School lockdowns and evacuations can have lasting consequences on the children and adults who endure them, he said.He called for Connecticut's criminal laws regarding school threats to be updated now.
"Right now, calling in a bomb threat, or any kind of threat, to a school is a mere misdemeanor," Hwang said. "Our bipartisan bill in the legislature would change that, making such threats felonies which would result in a prison sentence."
He said said school superintendents, parents and law enforcement officials are backing this measure, which would make threatening a school a much more serious crime.
"I am optimistic we can pass this proposal and make our schools safer," he said.
The school safety bill currently awaits a vote by the full state Senate. You can review it here. Hwang encouraged residents to contact him with their thoughts on school safety at Tony.Hwang@cga.ct.gov or at 800-842-1421. You can also visit his website.