Idaho House OKs bill updating school threat penalties

Posted at 12:34 PM, Mar 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-09 14:56:08-05

Idaho's House has advanced legislation cracking down on people who make threats against schools.

House lawmakers on Friday agreed to send the measure to the Senate after lengthy debate that focused largely on the growing threat of school shootings and the best ways to combat them.

"In the last two weeks, in a school district here in the Treasure Valley, we have had 14 threats that have been averted," Rep. Brent Crane, R-Nampa, said. "We have a systemic problem. We have a cultural problem."

Currently, Idaho law prevents prosecutors from bringing charges against someone who threatens a school while off-campus or through social media. The statute hasn't been updated in more than 10 years.

HB 665 would make it a misdemeanor for making a threat that disrupts school activities. It also changes the law to make it a felony offense if that person who made the threat was found to have a firearm or other deadly weapons.

The proposal is backed by the he Fraternal Order of Police.

The bill also includes an emergency clause to take effect as soon as it's signed.