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Orlando Makes It Illegal To Use Social Media To Threaten Schools

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Joe Zevuloni mourns in front of a cross placed in a park to commemorate the victims of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Parkland, Florida, U.S., February 16, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins   Joe Zevuloni mourns in front of a cross placed in a park to commemorate the victims of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Parkland, Florida, U.S., February 16, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins Photo of Amber Randall

9:12 PM 02/26/2018

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The city of Orlando decided to make it a misdemeanor offense for individuals to make threats to schools over social media Monday.

The city, using an expedited process, approved a policy outlawing social media threats against schools, building or businesses, reported the Orlando Sentinel.

The previous policy held that people could be arrested for making a threat that turned out to be a hoax. The update to the policy allows officials to arrest people who make a vague threat, but don’t actually act on it.

Usually passing such an ordinance requires two public hearings, but Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, a Democrat, said it would take place immediately. City commissioners also voted unanimously for the policy change.

One commissioner, Regina Hill, called on officials to treat each case differently, as many of the potential offenders may be children, though she still supports the policy update.

“I don’t want us to overreact. We have not attached the mental health part of this. We’re only talking about arrests,” Hill said.

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The move comes after a former student allegedly gunned down 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, wounding countless others. In the aftermath of the massacre, many of the student survivors have begun protesting, calling for gun control.

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