Cumberland Times-News

Latest news

January 7, 2013

Board fed up with school bomb threats

Llewellyn spearheads push to have children charged as adults; other officials think tougher community service assignments may be answer

CUMBERLAND — Twenty-two officials from law enforcement, education and the government met at the Allegany County Board of Education’s central office Monday to discuss ways to increased penalties for those who make bomb threats at schools.

“We have dealt with too many bomb threats over the years. I believe there needs to be more severe consequences,” said Allegany County Superintendent of Schools David Cox.

“Some people see this as a prank,” said school board member Mike Llewellyn.

“On the day of the shootings at Sandy Hook we had a bomb scare. It sent chills down my spine,” Llewellyn said.

Llewellyn has spearheaded a push to have teens from age 13 and up to be charged as an adult for making bomb threats. Monday’s meeting included, in addition to members of the school board and the law enforcement officials, Allegany County State’s Attorney Mike Twigg and the members of the District 1 legislative delegation.

Delegate Kevin Kelly distributed a copy of the current law regarding jurisdiction of juveniles.

The law specifically states a juvenile court does not have jurisdiction if a minor is at least 14 for a crime punishable by death or life imprisonment.

Adult court can try someone of at least 16 for a range of crimes from abduction and kidnapping to rape, murder, robbery and more. Bomb threats were not included under the laws.

Bomb threats are typically made by phone, computer or by notes left in the schools.

The board reported having 12 bomb threats last year.

“We caught nine,” said the board’s Coordinator for Safety, Security and Risk Management Robert Farrell. It was revealed at the meeting that many times the punishment is community service.

School board officials talked about the demands placed on law enforcement, including bringing in specialized dogs to search schools.

“We can’t afford to lose this much instructional time. Our supreme punishment is expulsion, which may not be for an extended amount of time. For some kids being put out of school is not a punishment but a reward,” said board member Edward Root.

“We need something that will have a bigger impact. Now they will have to see a (law) master and they keep going,” said Farrell.

Three suggestions came from the discussion: Adding bomb threats, by including them under arson, to the list of offenses by a minor punishable as an adult; a request to approach the Circuit Court judges to consider handling offenders instead of a law master; and a request of Twigg to survey the Maryland State’s Attorney’s Association for input and support on the topic.

“Caroline County didn’t have the (bomb threat) problem too often and they’ve suggested to make the bomb threat a form of an arson charge that could be treated as an adult crime,” said Twigg.

Delegate LeRoy Myers showed concern about understanding the reasons behind the crime.

“The reasons are all over the spectrum. Bad home life, they want attention, they really mean it ... no two are going to be alike. You have to ask why did he do it and should they be given a second chance? That’s what concerns me,” said Myers.

“There needs to be an element of discretion. We want to turn kids around; We don’t want to discard them,” said Root.

There are currently laws in place that could fine parents up to $10,000 to cover costs.

“Holding the parents financially accountable is a good thing,” said Root.

Kelly encouraged tougher community service.

“The work has to be strenuous. It needs to be something that is not pleasant to do,” said Kelly.

“I remember when they washed police cars with officers there. Letting them be around authority figures is good,” he added.

The group also discussed sexual predators being on a school’s property.

“Do we need a law on this,” asked Cox.

“You don’t need a new law. They are not allowed on school property,” said Kelly.

Cumberland Chief of Police Charles Hinnant told the group about charges levied on a recent registered sex offender who was found on school property without permission.

“We just charged a sexual offender for being at a school and they are being held on a $250,000 bond. I think this sends a message,” said Hinnant.

Greg Larry can be contacted at glarry@times-news.com.

1
Text Only
Latest news
  • Springs, Pa., man missing since Jan. 6

    SPRINGS, Pa. — Pennsylvania State Police are seeking help to find a Springs man missing since Jan. 6.

     

    April 19, 2014

  • Man charged with handgun crime

    Timothy Hart Winkler, 30, Grantsville, was arrested by city officers early Friday after a complainant and a witness said he pulled a handgun during an argument in front of 124 Seymour St.
     

    April 19, 2014

  • Redman.asp.jpeg Moorefield man jailed on felony drug count

    KEYSER, W. Va. — A Moorefield man was arrested on various charges Thursday, including a felony drug offense for possession of amphetamines, according to the Keyser Police Department.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • City woman charged in domestic call

    CUMBERLAND — A city woman was arrested Thursday evening after Cumberland Police investigated a domestic assault complaint in the 100 block of Pennsylvania Avenue.

    April 18, 2014

  • Carlton.jpg Arrest made in alleged drug deal

    CUMBERLAND — A 25-year-old city man was arrested Thursday night after Cumberland Police observed him allegedly taking part in a drug deal on Columbia Street.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sheriff warns of scams targeting taxpayers

    CUMBERLAND — Allegany County Sheriff Craig Robertson cautioned residents Thursday to be aware of continuing telephone scams that are targeting taxpayers.

    April 17, 2014

  • DSC_0446.JPG Oakland returns to normal after tanker accident

    OAKLAND — Nearly 12 hours after a propane tanker overturned in the heart of its business district, the town of Oakland returned to normal early Wednesday night.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • New River Gorge bald eagle dies from injuries

    CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A female bald eagle that nested in the New River Gorge has died from injuries suffered last month when she was hit by a train and later by a vehicle.
     

    April 17, 2014

  • 10 things to know for today

    Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:
     

    April 17, 2014

  • Park Service opens Canal Classrooms Park Service opens Canal Classrooms

    CUMBERLAND – The National Park Service held a ribbon-cutting event Wednesday for a new program called Canal Classrooms, which will offer students pre-K through fifth grade accredited classwork on the Canal Place grounds.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism
Facebook
Must Read
House Ads
NDN Video
Jabari Parker's Top 5 Plays From Duke Career Kourtney Kardashian Is a Bikini Babe More Manpower Than Ever Expected At 4/20 Rally Debunk'd: Miley Cyrus AIDS, Cheeseburgers Cause Cancer, Military Warning Bill Previewing the NBA playoffs Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite My name is Cocaine Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Lohan Gets Candid About Her Sex List The 2014 New York Auto Show Meet Johnny Manziel's New Girlfriend Chelsea Clinton Announces Pregnancy Funny: Celebrating Easter with Martha Stewart and Friends Man Accuses 'X-Men' Director Bryan Singer of Sexually Abusing Him As a Teenager Man hit with $525 federal fine after he doesn't pay for soda refill Lea Michele & Naya Rivera Feuding? Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft Singing Nun Belts Out Cyndi Lauper New West, Texas Explosion Video Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday
NDN Video
Jabari Parker's Top 5 Plays From Duke Career Kourtney Kardashian Is a Bikini Babe More Manpower Than Ever Expected At 4/20 Rally Debunk'd: Miley Cyrus AIDS, Cheeseburgers Cause Cancer, Military Warning Bill Previewing the NBA playoffs Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite My name is Cocaine Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Lohan Gets Candid About Her Sex List The 2014 New York Auto Show Meet Johnny Manziel's New Girlfriend Chelsea Clinton Announces Pregnancy Funny: Celebrating Easter with Martha Stewart and Friends Man Accuses 'X-Men' Director Bryan Singer of Sexually Abusing Him As a Teenager Man hit with $525 federal fine after he doesn't pay for soda refill Lea Michele & Naya Rivera Feuding? Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft Singing Nun Belts Out Cyndi Lauper New West, Texas Explosion Video Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday