EDUCATION + SCHOOLS

Lawmaker wants to make school hoax threats a felony

Aug 9, 2023, 8:00 PM

The Utah Capitol is shown on March 3, 2023, in Salt Lake City. Utah's SB 150, similar to the Relig...

FILE - The Utah Capitol is shown on March 3, 2023, in Salt Lake City. (Rick Bowmer /Associated Press)

(Rick Bowmer /Associated Press)

SALT LAKE CITY — With a new school year rapidly approaching, state education officials are concerned about school hoax threats. And a Utah lawmaker wants to have a stiffer punishment associated with those types of incidents. 

Rep. Ryan Wilcox, R-Ogden, tells KSL NewsRadio that currently when someone makes a threat of violence toward a school, they can be charged differently from other similar cases. He wants to end all of that with a new bill.

He heads the school safety task force and is championing a new bill to make all school hoax threats second-degree felonies. No matter how the threat is made. 

“They will be felonies,” he said. “There will be serious consequences for engaging in this kind of terroristic activity.”

Currently, he says not enough is being done to prevent such incidents from happening.

“We don’t have enough of a consequence to be a deterrent,” he said. “So, to the extent that’s it’s an argument that deterrents do anything. Right now, it’s just not.”

Wilcox, law enforcement personnel, educators and medical staff all say these kinds of incidents are becoming more common.

“Just let me be clear, these hoax incidents can take various forms including emails, letters, and altered social media images and screenshots,” Wilcox said.

Mark Jones contributed to this article. 

Read more:

 

 

We want to hear from you.

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

Education + Schools

Outside of Bonneville High School...

Heather Peterson

Bonneville High School opens new teen center to help students in crisis

Bonneville's new teen center has a kitchen, laundry, a shower, and a food pantry as well as a living room area, and study rooms.

2 days ago

A small group gathered outside the committee room to protest agains HB261 prior to Senate members o...

Josuee Sanchez

Complaint hotline for DEI law already receiving false complaints

The DEI law hotline has received 27 false complaints in the last week, but that's far less than a hotline associated with a bathroom bill received.

3 days ago

The Utah Women & Leadership Project, based out of Utah State University in Logan, Utah, reports tha...

Alexandrea Bonilla

Report finds fewer Utah workers experiencing sexual harassment

For the first time in years, the number of sexual harassment reports filed with the EEOC places Utah in line with the national average.

3 days ago

A FingerPrint Pad and paperwork from Clean Slate Utah is laid out at Utah Support Advocates for Rec...

Eric Cabrera

Expungement clinic held today in Salt Lake City in honor of Juneteenth

Clean Slate Utah and the NAACP Utah is holding a free Juneteenth expungement clinic today.

3 days ago

File photo of a Utah elementary school. The School Safety Security Task Force met Monday, June 17, ...

Briana Chavez

School Safety Security Task Force discuss new requirements for schools as part of new bill

One of the biggest requirements includes a school safety needs assessment. Each school in the state must fill one out.

4 days ago

Image of the newest version of the Salt Lake Main Library....

Kennedy Camarena

LISTEN: The end of libraries?

These days, just about everything is electronic, including books. This begs us to ask the question, could we be seeing the end of school libraries?

5 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Underwater shot of the fisherman holding the fish...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Your Bear Lake fishing guide

Bear Lake offers year-round fishing opportunities. By preparing ahead of time, you might go home with a big catch!

A group of people cut a purple ribbon...

Comcast

Comcast announces major fiber network expansion in Utah

Comcast's commitment to delivering extensive coverage signifies a monumental leap toward a digitally empowered future for Utahns.

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

a person dressed up as a nordic viking in a dragon boat resembling the bear lake monster...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Legend of the Bear Lake Monster

The Bear Lake monster has captivated people in the region for centuries, with tales that range from the believable to the bizarre.

...

Live Nation Concerts

All the artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

Lawmaker wants to make school hoax threats a felony