School safety task force discuss new requirements for schools as part of new law


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SALT LAKE CITY — State legislators and stakeholders that make up the School Safety Security Task Force met on Monday for the first time this year to discuss new school safety requirements implemented in HB84.

One of the biggest requirements of the new law includes a school safety needs assessment. Each school in the state must fill one out and that will determine how much funding the school will receive for security and safety.

This bill also requires all new school construction and reconstruction to meet minimum safety and security standards established by state security chief Matt Pennington. The standards include limited entry points, video surveillance, door locks, security film on windows and a wearable panic button for a teacher in each classroom, among others.

Pennington highlighted concerns for most of these items, including the panic alert devices.

"You have a lot of districts that had started implemented measures prior to the bill being passed that are not necessarily wearable," he said during Monday's meeting.

Another big question was whether the task force would enforce certain vendors to provide these wearable panic alert devices.

Nothing was ultimately decided during the meeting, but the goal for these panic alert devices was on the minds of some board members.

"The intent is to make sure this stuff actually works when we spend the money on it, that no matter where you are in Salt Lake County, there's somebody coming,' said co-chair Rep. Ryan Wilcox, R-Ogden.

This image shows some of the points that the school board addressed during the meeting on Monday.
This image shows some of the points that the school board addressed during the meeting on Monday. (Photo: Stuart Johnson, KSL-TV)

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Utah K-12 educationUtah LegislatureEducationUtah
Brianna Chavez
Brianna Chavez joined the KSL-TV news team as a reporter in July of 2023. She comes to the Beehive State after working for five years in her hometown of El Paso, Texas.

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