Lawmakers work to increase trespassing penalty on school buses - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Lawmakers work to increase trespassing penalty on school buses


The hostage situation in Midland, Alabama has school officials and lawmakers scrambling to make changes to current safety procedures. One of those possible changes is increasing the penalty for trespassing on a school bus.

A bill was drafted to do just before this incident even happened, but it is in light of all the other trespassing situations Alabama bus drivers deal with.

According to the state's Department of Education, there have been five trespassing incidents on Huntsville City Schools' buses in the last three years and at least two dozen statewide.

The trespassers range from random people to angry parents to other students.

Currently there is little penalty for boarding a bus unauthorized, but this bill would make it a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in prison.

State Senator Bill Holtzclaw agrees with the legislation, but he said we need to make sure it will actually keep kids from getting harmed.

"What we have to recognize is that it's a reactive measure, not a proactive measure. In the instance of what is going on in Dale County, would the increased penalty for someone trespassing on a school bus have prevented that situation? I don't necessarily think that is the case," he said.

The bill was filed by Senator Cam Ward. He said it's not a solution to school violence but will stop some incidents.

The legislative session starts in less than a week.

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