Hwang: Easton bomb threat highlights need for school safety law

Connecticut’s criminal laws regarding school threats need to be updated — this year.

That’s the message from state Sen. Tony Hwang, who represents Easton, Fairfield, Newtown, Weston and Westport, following the March 23 bomb threat at Helen Keller Middle School. He is seeking public support.

Right now, calling in a bomb threat, or any kind of threat, to a school is a mere misdemeanor, Hwang said. His bipartisan bill in the legislature would change that, making such threats felonies that would result in a prison sentence.

Police dogs brought on site to check for a bomb at Helen Keller school Wednesday morning found nothing, and students returned to class in the afternoon. A note left in a boys’ bathroom that morning prompted the police response.

The students were safely evacuated to the Easton Community Center. Fairfield and Trumbull police assisted with the children and traffic.The K9s were brought in from Stamford and Norwalk. Police Chief Tim Shaw said the site was “all clear” following a search of the building.

Peggy Sullivan, director of operations for Easton, Redding and Region 9 schools, said that 306 students attend the middle school, and they evacuated safely and well. School officials kept parents advised of the situation as it unfolded through a series of emails. Dismissal was at the regular time.

“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. “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. School lockdowns and evacuations can have very real and lasting consequences on the children and adults who endure them.

With fewer than six weeks remaining in the Connecticut General Assembly’s 2016 legislative session, Hwang said he is optimistic about passing the proposal to make the schools safer.

The school safety bill currently awaits a vote by the full state Senate. It can be reviewed here.

Local school superintendents, parents and law enforcement officials are backing this measure, which would make threatening a school a much more serious crime, Hwang said.

Hwang encouraged residents to contact him with their thoughts on the need to make schools safer at [email protected] or at 800 842-1421. On the web: senatorhwang.com.

State Sen. Tony Hwang, right, was joined by the Reidy family of Newtown on Feb. 26 at the state Capitol to raise awareness about the need for safe schools legislation in Connecticut.

State Sen. Tony Hwang, right, was joined by the Reidy family of Newtown on Feb. 26 at the state Capitol to raise awareness about the need for safe schools legislation in Connecticut.

About author

By participating in the comments section of this site you are agreeing to our Privacy Policy and User Agreement

© HAN Network. All rights reserved. Fairfield Sun, 1000 Bridgeport Avenue, Shelton, CT 06484

Designed by WPSHOWER

Powered by WordPress