GOVERNMENT

Bill criminalizing school threat hoaxes “held” by committee

Feb 19, 2020, 1:57 PM | Updated: 5:11 pm
school threat hoax Utah legislature...
A Utah legislative committee has placed a hold on a bill addressing school threat hoaxes. (file photo)
(file photo)

SALT LAKE CITY — The House Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Committee is holding a bill that would create a new law against school threats.

Specifying the school threat

Representative Andrew Stoddard is sponsoring the bill. He says school threats currently fall into one of two categories.

“If someone were to make a threat against a school we have two categories of ways they could be charged. There’s a felony level terroristic threat, and [a] class-B threat of violence,” he explains.

According to Stoddard, there isn’t a specific enough law that encapsulates a majority of school threat hoaxes.

“This is frustrating to both prosecutors and law enforcement because there is not a clear, easy way to investigate and charge these types of cases,” said Stoddard.

He admits that his motivation to push the new legislation through is somewhat personal.

“My wife is a high school counselor,” he said. “There have been a few times in the last few years where I know there have been threats made against their school and I know she has to go to school. That’s hard for me to do.”

Debate on details

On Wednesday, a majority of debate stemmed from a portion of the bill that deals with restorative justice. Stoddard is hoping to require schools to take steps to rehabilitate students after such an incident, but the committee decided to take that portion out of the bill.

“Ultimately, I want this bill to help kids by providing them with a greater picture of the consequences of their actions,” he said.

Republican Representative Kim Coleman said the restorative justice portion of the bill might not be appropriate for every school.

“This would mandate restorative justice, and that is a very prescriptive and specific paradigm–a specific tool– that may not be adopted in every LEA or school.”

The Canyon School District supports the bill and pitched the idea to Representative Stoddard.

It will now be up to Stoddard to reintroduce an amended bill.

Further reading:

Fake threats, real consequences: FBI warns people against hoax school threats

Today’s Top Stories

Government

Herbert Cox statement Reyes election lawsuit...
Mark Jones

State of Utah files lawsuit against pharmaceutical retailers

Three pharmaceutical retailers are facing a lawsuit from the State of Utah. The lawsuit was filed the week of July 1.
2 days ago
This June 20, 2017, photo provided by Chris Wonderly shows Hovenweep Castle at Hovenweep National M...
Curt Gresseth

Supreme Court widens state power over tribes. What does it mean for Utah?

The director of the Utah Division of Indian Affairs discusses the recent US Supreme Court ruling and what it means for tribes in Utah.
3 days ago
Ketanji Brown Jackson takes the oath for the Supreme Court....
MARK SHERMAN Associated Press

Jackson sworn in, becomes 1st Black woman on Supreme Court

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, 51, will be sworn as the court's 116th justice Thursday, just as the man she is replacing, Justice Stephen Breyer, retires.
3 days ago
Immigration activists rally outside the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC on April 26. Photo credi...
Tierney Sneed and Priscilla Alvarez, CNN

Supreme Court says Biden can end Trump-era ‘Remain in Mexico’ immigration policy

The Supreme Court on Thursday gave President Joe Biden the green light to end the controversial "Remain in Mexico" immigration policy.
3 days ago
The Supreme Court is pictured. The court just limited the EPA...
MARK SHERMAN Associated Press

Supreme Court limits EPA in curbing power plant emissions

The Supreme Court on Thursday limited how the nation's main anti-air pollution law can be used to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from power plants.
3 days ago
President Joe Biden speaks during a news conference on the final day of the NATO summit in Madrid, ...
DARLENE SUPERVILLE and ZEKE MILLER Associated Press

Biden says transatlantic alliance has adapted to new threats

Biden's comments came at a press conference in Madrid at the conclusion of the annual meeting of NATO leaders and after he attended a summit with the Group of Seven advanced democratic economies in the Bavarian Alps.
3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Tax Harassment...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Joseph Smith Memorial Building...
Temple Square

The Joseph Smith Memorial Building is an icon of Salt Lake City | Why hosting an event at this beautiful location will make you a hero this year

Here's why hosting an event at the iconic Joseph Smith Memorial Building in downtown Salt Lake City will make you a hero this year.
Bill criminalizing school threat hoaxes “held” by committee