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Brooks Calls For Felony Penalties For False Emergency Threats Toward Schools

Michele Brooks

On Tuesday, more than 20 Pennsylvania schools received swatting schools from a computer-generated system saying that an active shooter was on campus. The calls proved to be hoaxes.

Today, state Sen. Michele Brooks (R-Crawford/Lawrence/ Mercer) called for her colleagues to take action against such future actions.

Brooks is proposing legislation to create new, felony criminal penalties for falsely reporting emergency threats directed towards any educational facility in the Commonwealth.

“These calls triggered a massive emergency response, creating perilous conditions for students, teachers and public safety agencies alike,” said Brooks. “Several schools in my district were on the receiving end of these cruel and extremely depraved hoax calls. The added stress on our schools, communities, emergency responders and law enforcement officers to respond to these specific and dangerous false reports require a commensurate response in our criminal statute.”

Swatting is defined as “the action or practice of making a prank call to emergency services in an attempt to bring about the dispatch of a large number of armed police officers to a particular address.”

“We already have enhanced criminal penalties for a multitude of offenses that endanger our school facilities in the Commonwealth, it only makes sense to add the perpetrators of these abhorrent hoax calls to that list,” she said.

School districts that received calls included:

  • Altoona
  • Bellefonte
  • Belle Vernon
  • Bishop Carroll
  • Catasauqua
  • Central Catholic
  • Chalfont
  • Charleroi
  • Erie
  • Forest Hills
  • Hollidaysburg
  • Hopewell
  • Laurel Highlands
  • Lehighton
  • Meadville
  • Nazareth
  • New Castle
  • Oakland Catholic
  • Valley View
  • William Allen


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