Fellela bill would prohibit computer use to make threats against schools
STATE HOUSE – Rep. Deborah Fellela (D-Dist. 43, Johnston) has submitted legislation that would make it a felony to use a computer to make threats against students at school.
Concerned over threats that were made last year in the Johnston, Warwick and Cranston on school systems, Representative Fellela submitted the bill to give an extra level of safety to the students and staff at the state’s many schools, colleges and daycare centers.
“After what happened last year,” said Representative Fellela, “it’s imperative that we do all we can to stiffen the penalties for making threats against our schoolchildren.”
Last October, an anonymous letter was received that made threats of physical violence against students in Johnston, Warwick and Cranston, prompting all three communities to tighten security and increase police presence at community schools.
The bill (2015-H 5068) would prohibit the use of a computer, phone, smartphone, tablet, fax machine, social media or any like device to make any statements or threats concerning the endangerment of students at any public or private daycare facility, preschool, school, college or university in the state.
Those convicted would face imprisonment of no less than five years, nor more than 20, or a fine of no less than $10,000 nor more than $100,000. In addition, the perpetrator would be ordered to make full restitution for any emergency response expense incurred as a result of the threatening statement.
For more information, contact:
Daniel Trafford, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903