Chief Sponsor: Ryan D. Wilcox

Senate Sponsor: Don L. Ipson


8     Committee Note:
9          The Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Interim Committee recommended this bill.
10               Legislative Vote:     12 voting for     0 voting against     6 absent
11     General Description:
12          This bill addresses threatening or falsely reporting an emergency at a school.
13     Highlighted Provisions:
14          This bill:
15          ▸     requires a student to be suspended or expelled from a public school if the student
16     makes a false emergency report targeted at a school;
17          ▸     enhances the penalties for making a threat against a school;
18          ▸     makes it a second degree felony for an actor to make a false emergency report in
19     certain circumstances; and
20          ▸     makes technical and conforming changes.
21     Money Appropriated in this Bill:
22          None
23     Other Special Clauses:
24          None
25     Utah Code Sections Affected:
26     AMENDS:
27          53G-8-205, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2019, Chapter 293

28          76-5-107.1, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2022, Chapter 181
29          76-9-202, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2022, Chapter 161

31     Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
32          Section 1. Section 53G-8-205 is amended to read:
33          53G-8-205. Grounds for suspension or expulsion from a public school.
34          (1) A student may be suspended or expelled from a public school for [any of] the
35     following reasons:
36          (a) frequent or flagrant willful disobedience, defiance of proper authority, or disruptive
37     behavior, including the use of foul, profane, vulgar, or abusive language;
38          (b) willful destruction or defacing of school property;
39          (c) behavior or threatened behavior which poses an immediate and significant threat to
40     the welfare, safety, or morals of other students or school personnel or to the operation of the
41     school;
42          (d) possession, control, or use of an alcoholic beverage as defined in Section
43     32B-1-102;
44          (e) behavior proscribed under Subsection (2) which threatens harm or does harm to the
45     school or school property, to a person associated with the school, or property associated with
46     that person, regardless of where it occurs; or
47          (f) possession or use of pornographic material on school property.
48          (2) (a) A student shall be suspended or expelled from a public school for [any of] the
49     following reasons:
50          (i) [any] a serious violation affecting another student or a staff member, or [any] a
51     serious violation occurring in a school building, in or on school property, or in conjunction
52     with [any] a school activity, including:
53          (A) the possession, control, or actual or threatened use of a real weapon, explosive, or
54     noxious or flammable material;
55          (B) the actual or threatened use of a look alike weapon with intent to intimidate another
56     person or to disrupt normal school activities; or
57          (C) the sale, control, or distribution of a drug or controlled substance as defined in
58     Section 58-37-2, an imitation controlled substance defined in Section 58-37b-2, or drug

59     paraphernalia as defined in Section 58-37a-3; [or]
60          (ii) the commission of an act involving the use of force or the threatened use of force
61     which if committed by an adult would be a felony or class A misdemeanor; or
62          (iii) making a false report of an emergency at a school under Subsection
63     76-9-202(2)(d).
64          (b) A student who commits a violation of Subsection (2)(a) involving a real or look
65     alike weapon, explosive, or flammable material shall be expelled from school for a period of
66     not less than one year subject to the following:
67          (i) within 45 days after the expulsion the student shall appear before the student's local
68     school board superintendent, the superintendent's designee, chief administrative officer of a
69     charter school, or the chief administrative officer's designee, accompanied by a parent; and
70          (ii) the superintendent, chief administrator, or designee shall determine:
71          (A) what conditions must be met by the student and the student's parent for the student
72     to return to school;
73          (B) if the student should be placed on probation in a regular or alternative school
74     setting consistent with Section 53G-8-208, and what conditions must be met by the student in
75     order to ensure the safety of students and faculty at the school the student is placed in; and
76          (C) if it would be in the best interest of both the school district or charter school, and
77     the student, to modify the expulsion term to less than a year, conditioned on approval by the
78     local school board or charter school governing board and giving highest priority to providing a
79     safe school environment for all students.
80          (3) A student may be denied admission to a public school on the basis of having been
81     expelled from that or any other school during the preceding 12 months.
82          (4) A suspension or expulsion under this section is not subject to the age limitations
83     under Subsection 53G-6-204(1).
84          (5) Each local school board and charter school governing board shall prepare an annual
85     report for the state board on:
86          (a) each violation committed under this section; and
87          (b) each action taken by the school district against a student who committed the
88     violation.
89          Section 2. Section 76-5-107.1 is amended to read:

90          76-5-107.1. Threats against schools.
91          (1) (a) As used in this section:
92          (i) "Hoax weapon of mass destruction" means the same as that term is defined in
93     Section 76-10-401.
94          (ii) "School" means a preschool or a public or private elementary or secondary school.
95          (b) Terms defined in Section 76-1-101.5 apply to this section.
96          (2) An actor is guilty of making a threat against a school if the actor threatens [in
97     person or via electronic means, either], with real intent or as an intentional hoax, to commit
98     [any] an offense involving bodily injury, death, or substantial property damage and the actor:
99          (a) threatens the use of a firearm or weapon or hoax weapon of mass destruction;
100          (b) acts with intent to:
101          (i) disrupt the regular schedule of the school or influence or affect the conduct of
102     students, employees, or the general public at the school;
103          (ii) prevent or interrupt the occupancy of the school or a portion of the school, or a
104     facility or vehicle used by the school; or
105          (iii) intimidate or coerce students or employees of the school; or
106          (c) causes an official or volunteer agency organized to deal with emergencies to take
107     action due to the risk to the school or general public.
108          (3) (a) (i) A violation of Subsection (2)(a), (b)(i), or (b)(iii) is a [class A misdemeanor]
109     third degree felony.
110          (ii) A violation of Subsection (2)(b)(ii) is a class [B] A misdemeanor.
111          (iii) A violation of Subsection (2)(c) is a class [C] B misdemeanor.
112          (b) (i) In addition to [any other] another penalty authorized by law, a court shall order
113     an actor convicted [of a violation of] under this section to pay restitution to [any] a federal,
114     state, or local unit of government, or [any] a private business, organization, individual, or entity
115     for expenses and losses incurred in responding to the threat, unless the court states on the
116     record the reasons why the reimbursement would be inappropriate.
117          (ii) Restitution ordered in the case of a minor adjudicated for a violation of this section
118     shall be determined in accordance with Section 80-6-710.
119          (4) It is not a defense to this section that the actor did not attempt to carry out the threat
120     or was incapable of carrying out the threat.

121          (5) [(a)] A violation of this section shall be reported to the local law enforcement
122     agency.
123          [(b) If the actor alleged to have violated this section is a minor, the minor may be
124     referred to the juvenile court.]
125          (6) Counseling for [the] a minor alleged to have violated this section and the minor's
126     family may be made available through state and local health department programs.
127          Section 3. Section 76-9-202 is amended to read:
128          76-9-202. Emergency reporting -- Interference -- False report.
129          (1) (a) As used in this section:
130          [(a)] (i) "Emergency" means a situation in which property or human life is in jeopardy
131     and the prompt summoning of aid is essential to the preservation of human life or property.
132          [(b)] (ii) "Party line" means a subscriber's line or telephone circuit:
133          [(i)] (A) that consists of two or more connected main telephone stations; and
134          [(ii)] (B) where each telephone station has a distinctive ring or telephone number.
135          (b) Terms defined in Sections 76-1-101.5 apply to this section.
136          (2) An actor is guilty of emergency reporting abuse if the actor:
137          (a) intentionally refuses to yield or surrender the use of a party line or a public pay
138     telephone to another individual upon being informed that the telephone is needed to report a
139     fire or summon police, medical, or other aid in case of emergency, unless the telephone is
140     likewise being used for an emergency call;
141          (b) asks for or requests the use of a party line or a public pay telephone on the pretext
142     that an emergency exists, knowing that no emergency exists;
143          (c) except as provided in Subsection (2)(d), reports an emergency or causes an
144     emergency to be reported, through any means, to [any] a public, private, or volunteer entity
145     whose purpose is to respond to fire, police, or medical emergencies, when the actor knows the
146     reported emergency does not exist; or
147          (d) makes a false report, or intentionally aids, abets, or causes [a third party] another
148     person to make a false report, through any means to an emergency response service, including a
149     law enforcement dispatcher or a 911 emergency response service, if the false report claims that:
150          (i) an [ongoing] emergency exists or will exist;
151          (ii) the emergency described in Subsection (2)(d)(i) [currently involves, or] involves an

152     imminent or future threat of[,] serious bodily injury, serious physical injury, or death; and
153          (iii) the emergency described in Subsection (2)(d)(i) is occurring or will occur at a
154     specified location.
155          (3) (a) A violation of Subsection (2)(a) or (b) is a class C misdemeanor.
156          (b) A violation of Subsection (2)(c) is a class B misdemeanor, except as provided
157     under Subsection (3)(c).
158          (c) A violation of Subsection (2)(c) is a second degree felony if the report is regarding
159     a weapon of mass destruction, as defined in Section 76-10-401.
160          (d) A violation of Subsection (2)(d)[: (i) except as provided in Subsection (3)(d)(ii), is
161     a third degree felony; or (ii)] is a second degree felony [if:].
162          [(A) while acting in response to the report, the emergency responder causes physical
163     injury to an individual at the location described in Subsection (2)(d)(iii); or]
164          [(B) the actor makes the false report or aids, abets, or causes a third party to make the
165     false report with intent to ambush, attack, or otherwise harm a responding law enforcement
166     officer or emergency responder.]
167          (4) (a) In addition to [any other] another penalty authorized by law, a court shall order
168     an actor convicted of a violation of this section to reimburse[: (i) any] a federal, state, or local
169     unit of government, or [any] a private business, organization, individual, or entity for all
170     expenses and losses incurred in responding to the violation[; and].
171          [(ii) an individual described in Subsection (3)(d)(ii) for the costs for the treatment of
172     the physical injury and any psychological injury caused by the offense.]
173          (b) The court may order that the defendant pay less than the full amount of the costs
174     described in Subsection (4)(a) only if the court states on the record the reasons why the
175     reimbursement would be inappropriate.
176          Section 4. Effective date.
177          This bill takes effect on May 1, 2024.