SALEM, OR -- A local State Senator announced late Monday a proposal to increase the penalty for people who make threats against schools. Senator Tim Knopp (R-Bend) says the incidents are becoming too common, "In the last nine days, there have been four threats against schools in my particular district." One of the threats was very credible, according to police, but the suspect could only be charged with a Misdemeanor. "The only charge that they could come up with, because they couldn’t prove that there was a specific plan or intent, was Disorderly Conduct," says Knopp.
The Bend Republican wants it to become at least a Class A Misdemeanor or a felony, which Bend-La Pine Schools Superintendent Shay Mikalson is calling for
. Knopp's amendment would define 'Terroristic Threat' as, "A person expresses an intent to carry out a threat, and that a reasonable person would be placed in fear or terror by that threat and believe that the threat is likely to be carried out." And, he says it would bring steeper penalties, "[It] Creates a crime that fits what is happening, because I don’t believe that disorderly conduct is an appropriate charge for a violent threat against a school."
Knopp recognizes it is late in the session and asked that if the amendment can't be considered this year, that it be considered in the 2019 Legislative session.