In an effort to crack down on individuals threatening violence against schools on social media, State Senator Michael Connelly (R-Naperville) sponsored Senate Bill 563, which passed the Senate unanimously April 26.
Under SB 563, individuals who threaten a school via social media would be required to reimburse police departments for the added security and emergency response costs. Under current law, individuals are already required to pay these costs but only if they make the threat via a 9-1-1 phone call or if they specifically threaten to use a bomb.
“The use of social media has grown tremendously over the years and what we are seeing is that most of these threats aren’t coming by phone anymore—they are being done behind a computer,” said Connelly, chief co-sponsor of the bill. “This legislation updates current law to reflect the societal changes we are seeing, and is an attempt to reduce the amount of ‘copycat’ threats that are happening to schools across the state and country. A school threat is something that should not be taken lightly.”