Hwang to re-introduce safe school legislation

After several phoned threats prompted a lockdown of all 17 public school buildings in Fairfield,  Sen. Tony Hwang (R-Fairfield) today said he plans to re-introduce a proposal in the Connecticut legislature which aims to set a new standard on how states can respond to the growing rate of threats of violence against schools.

Fairfield Sen. Tony Hwang (R-28) introduced and championed the bill, SB 1108: The Zero-Tolerance Safe School Environment Act, which increases the penalties for threats of violence against schools.

The bill, which passed unanimously in the State Senate but never was called for a vote in the House of Representatives, called for the creation of a new section under the state’s existing threatening laws, pertaining specifically to threats of violence targeting schools.

Under that new section, first-degree threatening becomes a Class C felony and second-degree threatening becomes a Class D felony; under the existing general threatening statutes, first-degree threatening is a Class D felony and second-degree threatening is a Class A misdemeanor. The felony charges carry stiffer sentences.

“Our message must be heard loud and clear: Connecticut does not tolerate threats of violence against our schools,” Sen. Hwang said. “And if someone does commit such a despicable act, they will face severe penalties that bring the punishment more in line with the crime.  Today’s threats in Fairfield reinforce the need to strengthen our laws in this area.”

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