Utah bill targets adults and students who swat public schools
Jan 17, 2024, 3:22 PM | Updated: 4:18 pm
(Kristin Murphy/Deseret News)
SALT LAKE CITY — A bill passed by the Utah House would give harsher penalties for adults and students who swat Utah public schools.
HB14 School Threat Penalty Assessments, sponsored by Rep. Brad Wilcox, R-Ogden and Rep. Brad Wilcox, R-St. George, would elevate swatting to a second-degree felony. The bill passed out of the Utah House on a vote of 73-1.
Swatting is when a hoax call is made to 911 which prompts an extreme police response, like the use of SWAT teams, to a bogus threat.
If passed by the Utah Senate, swatting a school could be punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. A school could suspend or expel students found guilty of swatting.
Last year Utah experienced a large-scale swat attempt against multiple schools from Logan to St. George.
The swat was a costly prank, for both Utah law enforcement and healthcare providers who quickly prepared to respond to the hoax.