Local News

State Bill Would Make All School Violence Threats Felonies

Posted April 20, 2007

— A combination of rumors, the shooting rampage at Virginia Tech and the eighth anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting put high school campuses across the state on heightened alert Friday for potential school violence.

Now, poposed legislation in the General Assembly would widen the scope regarding what types of school threats are a felony and how they are communicated.

"It's not against the law to say, 'I'm going to come in and shoot a couple of students,'" said Wake County Rep. Nelson Dollar.

Right now, it is a felony to phone in a bomb threat.

"If it came by fax, e-mail, Internet, phone, text message, it would be covered," Dollar said.

The proposed bill would cover other types of threats or perceived threats, such as hit lists, that would be sent via e-mail, Internet or text message."

Under the bill, anyone convicted would be ordered to pay for damages or disruption to services.

Law enforcement agencies have to take all threats seriously, which means they sometimes have to divert officers from other calls.

"Police and fire have to respond to the scene," said Carrboro Police Capt. J.G. Booker. "We have to try and ensure public safety."

For example, authorities evacuated Durham County's main library for two hours Friday after a staff member received a bomb threat over the phone, county officials said.

The Durham County Sheriff's Office investigated the library with bomb-sniffing dogs. After clearing the facility, officials reopened the library at 3 p.m., two hours after the original threat.

And in several school systems across the state, officials increased security after threats of violence.

But Booker said he is still skeptical about others having to pay financially. The end result under the proposed legislation would mean that a hoax could cost someone thousands of dollars and possible jail time.

"I think we do have to keep in mind that maybe the folks involved in that kind of action don't really think in terms of end results or punishment for their actions," he said.

Last year, there were 176 bomb threats made to schools in North Carolina. That number is actually down from 229 in 2001.


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  • wakep Apr 23, 2007

    amen cheekygreek - lol you are sooooooooooooooo right about the school counselor eval -

  • wakep Apr 23, 2007

    Oh yeh there's a solution teach kids that violence is wrong by beating them up in school then they can grow up to become advocates for child abue - Are you kidding me!!! - all threats are felonies - not a good idea because the schools take things to the extremes. Common sense has been replaced in our schools by zero tolerance. I've been told by people that students threatened teachers with a tone or a look or an eye rolling - and that my friends is a fact - teachers nowadays feel threatened by loaded 7 year old fingers, they feel threatened by eye rolling, by tones, should we classify all of these as felonies?

  • strolling bones Apr 22, 2007

    No. No one spanks my child. I am the parent that is my place not a hired persons place. Sorry but teachers have personal problems just like all of us, I do not want that frustration/stress/pms taken out on my child. No thanks.
    With that said, I compromised with the school here, if needed you call me I will come no matter what the time or what I am doing and spank him. Happened once. Never happened again. But no spankings by principles, teachers is not acceptable. These people are guardians ad libum (I hope that is close for the spelling nazis) protecting the students not assaulting them.

  • Joy4u2 Apr 22, 2007

    Put the good old padding back in school and that will end a lot of this stupid brats doing the things they do. They think its funny to sit back and watch the firemen and cops go through schools. Nothings but brats and need there butts paddled, I got it and it didn't kill me and it taugh me a whole lot of respect. and kids no days ask them what RESPECT is they don't know. Dua!!!!!

  • mvnull Apr 22, 2007

    "Cops appeared in schools when spanking vanished from schools." None of the schools I was in growing up had either. You'll have to look for another straw man.

  • djofraleigh Apr 22, 2007

    One way to end all SCHOOL threats
    would be to change all to ACADEMY.

    As for punishment, who can argue with
    the punishment fitting the crime.
    If someone causes an expense, they can pay.

    As for having jails, well, they are worth the expense.
    I would like to see inmates kept safe
    and given something productive to do
    and a better chance when let back into society.

  • Dizzy Apr 22, 2007

    ninenine..your post made no sense to me as people being jailed is costing us "Taxpayers" to feed them and a place to stay..As for jailing teens..I vote no..cause there is a way to turn them around..Parents should be aware of who thier kids hang around and Teachers should pay attention too..I know watching teens in social life in not required..but when they are at school..the childrens lives are in thier hands..Proper info to the Parents on how the teen is misbehaving during school hrs would help

  • turkeydance Apr 21, 2007

    Nelson Dollar doesn't realize that HACKERS can impersonate
    anyone on MySpace, or any other social networking site.
    my favorite canine catoon quote: "on the Internet, no one knows you're a dog."

  • mindyourown Apr 21, 2007

    That's when the teacher needs their a$$ whipped!

  • Kriterian Apr 21, 2007

    I don't agree with the spanking theory. I was once spanked in third or fourth grade, by a grumpy teacher that had a paddle with holes in it. Her reasoning was that I failed to read a passage when called on in class. The reason I didn't read that passage? I was having an epileptic seizure at the time.