Neuhaus Urges FCC to Act on Swatting

February 24, 2016 Updated: March 9, 2016

GOSHEN—The county has joined efforts with local school and government officials for quick action at the federal level to end swatting in Middletown schools.

County Executive Steven Neuhaus wrote a letter to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler on Feb. 19 urging the FCC to grant a limited waiver to the school district, which allows access to phone numbers that are suspected of swatting.

Known as 64.1601(b) of FCC regulations, “This limited waiver will protect the rights of most callers using this regulation in order to maintain their privacy while allowing the Middletown school district to pinpoint those callers using the same regulation to threaten the safety and security of students, faculty and staff at Middletown schools,” Neuhaus wrote.

“Granting Middletown the 64.1601 waiver would help authorities track and arrest the perpetrators of these alarming calls, which have caused undue stress and concern to the Middletown community.”

The letter notes four Middletown schools have been targeted 12 times with threats in the last nine months.

With seven alone at Maple Hill Elementary, Neuhaus estimates a 7 percent loss of instructional time, with lockdowns that frighten young children. The district is spending time and money to end the criminal behavior. There is also the expense of emergency services that are tied up.

“These events have attracted regional news and, more importantly, taken a toll on the Middletown school district and its families.”

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