Utah Legislative Update

The 2024 Utah Legislative session concluded on March 1st, where several bills relating to school safety were passed.  HB 84 School Safety Amendments which requires panic alert devices and video cameras for schools and classrooms. In the Kane County School District, we have been updating the intercom and bell systems that allows teachers to push a button and send an alert to the office if they need assistance. The new intercom and bell systems will be installed before the end of the school year. HB 84 also addresses additional safety initiatives relating to threat reporting, the involvement of law enforcement agencies, and school safety management procedures. Representative Ryan Wilcox (R-Ogden) and Senator Don Ipson (R-St. George) sponsored HB 84; it will have one-time appropriations of $100 million to the Utah State Board of Education’s School Safety and Support Grant. Kane School District will be completing the grant this summer to secure additional funding for school safety. Ipson and Wilcox also sponsored HB 14, which enhances changes for threats made against schools by making it a second-degree felony for someone to create a false threat (like a bomb threat) and requires a student to be expelled or suspended for making false emergency threats towards schools. HB 119 School Employee Firearms Possession Amendment was sponsored by Representative Tim Jimenez and Senator David Hinkins created a program called the Educator-Protector Program to incentivize schoolteachers to secure or carry firearms on school grounds and provides annual classroom response training for teachers. As a district, we will continue to update our policies and internal procedures to be compliant with the hundreds of legislative changes affecting public education.