Connecticut House votes to toughen school threats penalty

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Bus picking up students after schools were dismissed early due to threats.

HARTFORD — Connecticut lawmakers are moving closer toward imposing tougher criminal penalties against those who threaten schools.

The House of Representatives on Saturday voted overwhelmingly in favor of legislation that makes it a Class C felony for intending to cause the evacuation of a school building or grounds when school is in session or when the campus is being used for school-sponsored activities.

A Class C felony is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

Stamford Democratic Rep. William Tong said the legislation follows a wave of bomb threats this year and last year in Stamford and elsewhere. He said the bill sends a “crystal clear message” that if someone threatens a Connecticut school the state is “going to come down hard on you.”

The bill now awaits Senate action.