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New legislation proposes stricter punishments for school threats

Photo of Hilliard Darby High School, where 1 student threatened the school during homecoming last school year. (WSYX/WTTE)

HILLIARD, Ohio (WSYX/WTTE) -- Ohio lawmakers proposed new legislation to let schools expel students for months for making certain kind of threats.

The superintendent for Hilliard City Schools has supported the bill.

Police said a sophomore threatened a school shooting at Hilliard Darby High School last October.

The threat was made just around the time of homecoming events.

According to police, a 16-year-old threatened to use gasoline and guns inside the school. He even tried to buy a gun from a student.

The student was charged with inducing panic.

That threat was just one of the more than 170 school threats reported in Ohio for the 2015-2016 school year, according to an Associated Press tally.

At least half of those threats led to evacuations, dismissals, or cancellation of classes or activities.

According to The Associated Press, the disruptions typically aren't long enough to merit makeup classes, but the learning time lost to evacuations and cancellations adds up.

The incidents also caused hours of work for police to respond and investigate.

If the bill is passed, it would let districts and law enforcement agencies seek restitution from a student's parents for the costs of responding to their threat.

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