New FL law makes it a felony to threaten schools on social media

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A new law that went into effect Sunday will make it a second degree felony for anyone who writes a threat to schools on social media.

“We don’t feel safe sending them to school anymore,” said concerned Collier County parent Lelse Jiminez.

Jiminez says whether they are real or fake, social media threats to schools are just not a joke.

“It’s so scary knowing are they going to be safe,” she said.

Jiminez has four children who attend school within the Collier County School District. After the mass shooting in Parkland and between Facebook, Snapchat and cell phones, Collier County deputies have investigated 27 threats to public schools.

“Stuff like this needs to be taken more seriously,” Jiminez said.

The new Florida law will make it a felony for posted social media threats to schools.

“That’s a great idea,” said parent Suzanne Reeves. “It’s not funny for these kids to think that’s a game.”

Parents say hopefully having a heavy consequence will get students to stop and think before pressing send or posting.

And others say it’s now the perfect time to have a conversation with their own children about social media threats.

“Yes we like to think that childhood errors can’t carry into their adulthood, but in many cases they do,” said parent John Sirpilla.

And in this case, if someone puts children in danger—no matter if it’s a joke—parents say a second degree felony isn’t a bit too harsh.

“I don’t think it’s too strict,” Sirpilla said. “Because protecting our kids is job one.”

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