'This is a criminal act.' Lawmaker warns of the severity of threatening a school
The state has seen a sweeping number of threats made at schools over the past two weeks, and although all were deemed not credible, officials say there are serious laws in place for people who make threats against schools.
Threats made at various schools across the state brought early dismissals, lockdowns and police officers. Fear was felt by all students - no matter what school they were in.
State Sen. Tony Hwang says threatening a school is a felony charge for anyone over 15 years old.
"It's really important to understand this is not a joking matter," said Hwang. "It is not one where you're kind of messing around. this is a criminal act."
Officials want people to know these threats have consequential impact and will not be taken lightly.
Hwang sponsored a law for stiffer penalties for threats against schools in 2016.
Although the law doesn't apply to juveniles, state officials say they will still be held accountable but in a different way.
"We do need to treat juveniles differently when it comes to criminal law. Some of these kids have significant traumas and significant mental health difficulties," said Sen. Chris Murphy.
Greenwich Public Schools sent a letter out to parents Thursday saying there will be an increased police presence at the school Friday and they will have additional counseling support for Greenwich High School students because Thursday's hoax threat caused a great deal of anxiety.
That threat is just one of several that have been made statewide on public schools.