Do substitute teachers need sensitivity training? A new bill would require it

Mar 3, 2020, 9:25 AM | Updated: 12:12 pm

thanking President Trump...

Utah State Capitol. 1/27/20 (Colby Walker | KSL NewsRadio)

(Colby Walker | KSL NewsRadio)

SALT LAKE CITY — A bill requiring that teachers hired through temporary agencies in Utah receive sensitivity training passed through the Senate Education Committee Monday.

An incident in Alpine School District last fall inspired Senator Karen Mayne (D-West Valley City) to sponsor SB198.

Mayne says a fill-in teacher berated a fifth-grade child at Deerfield Elementary School in Cedar Hills last Thanksgiving.  The boy told the class he was grateful for his two adopted dads.

According to several other students in the class, the substitute teacher harassed the 9-year old by saying “that’s nothing to be thankful for.  Two men living together is a sin,” and “why on earth would you be happy about that?”  The teacher was fired and escorted from the school.

Mayne says she’s heard other stories about teachers bullying students. Further, she says substitute teachers aren’t informed of a school district’s code of conduct and ethics when a third party agency hires them.

The Senate Education Committee endorsed SB198 with a 4-1 vote.  The only dissenter was Sen. Lincoln Fillmore (R-South Jordan). He said he worries the requirement will make it “impossible to find a substitute teacher at short notice.”

Fillmore also says the term “sensitivity training” isn’t defined in the bill. During debate he asked, “what does that entail?”

Mayne says Fillmore’s concern can be addressed by providing a simple briefing or written instructions. She says a district or charter school could make that decision.

The bill now moves to the full Senate for a vote.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Education + Schools

Oquirrh Hills Middle School shown, peer tutors there work with students with special needs...

Amanda Dickson

Dickson: The magic of peer tutors in middle school

Peer tutors are students of the same age in the same school who work one-on-one with students with special needs in their school.

16 hours ago

Former Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Scot Peterson shown, a school arming school staff is aw...

Curt Gresseth

Utah lawmaker discusses arming school workers

Arming school workers will lead to safer schools, says a Utah lawmaker whose bill awaits the governor's pen to become law.

4 days ago

the state capitol is pictured, the utah supreme court is seeking more information about a redistric...

Adam Small

Utah lawmakers pass two school security bills

The Utah Legislature passed two school security bills. One of them deals with concealed carry incentives for teachers.

5 days ago

Generic image of crime scene tape. A man and a woman were shot in a home in Naples, forcing the nea...

Michael Houck

Shooting near Naples Elementary School forces lockdown, two victims hospitalized

A man and a woman were shot in a home in Naples, forcing the nearby Naples Elementary School to lockdown Wednesday afternoon.

5 days ago

Students walk to their buses after school at Rose Springs Elementary in Erda, Tooele County, on Thu...

Jessica Lowell & Devin Oldroyd

Application process for the Utah Fits All Scholarship now open

The application for the Utah Fits All Scholarship is now open. The scholarship will allow families to apply for up to $8,000 of state funds.

5 days ago

taylor swift performing eras tour concert, a new class at weber state focuses on swift...


Weber State University to offer class on Taylor Swift this fall

The Weber State University Taylor Swift class was offered for the first time this spring and filled up quickly.

7 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

Do substitute teachers need sensitivity training? A new bill would require it