Task force searching for solutions to school safety

Mar 1, 2018, 1:29 PM | Updated: 10:00 pm

SALT LAKE CITY – A task force has been created with the goal of enhancing student safety in Utah.

Members of the Utah School Safety Commission said they had their first of many closed-door meetings Thursday morning. The volunteer group hopes to gather information on the best ways to keep students safe and suggest action plans to lawmakers.

Rep. Mike Kennedy, R-District 27, who assembled the committee, said this is something they’d like to accomplish by the start of the next school year.

Rep. Kennedy selected the non-partisan members to represent a range of experts from a longtime teacher, a mental health expert, a school safety architect specialist to the chair of the Utah Shooting Sports Council (full list below).

Clark Aposhian, the Chairman of Utah Shooting Sports Council, hopes this works similarly and as successfully as Governor Herbert’s suicide task force which was assembled earlier this year. Aposhian said while they know they’ll be working with some folks who may not be pro-gun, he knows those he represents don’t want to be a “road block” to school safety.

“We have worked with these disparate, seemingly adversarial groups and in trust come up with some great ideas and hopefully a template that will be utilized across the nation,” said Aposhian.

Noticeably, there were some empty committee member seats. Organizers plan to have two high school students join their task force conversations. They hope to find students who are already invested in this issue. At this point, Rep. Kennedy does not know the best way to have the students reach out to them, but he hopes in the near future, the Utah School Safety Commission will have a website up and running. There the public will see commission’s updates and have the ability to send in ideas.

In the meantime, Representative Stephen Handy (R-District 16) presented a bill Thursday that would allow for extreme risk protection orders. He said five states already have laws which allow, with due process, protection orders for people in mental crisis, not necessarily just in a domestic situation.

“It’s another tool in the toolbox. It’s hopefully a piece of the puzzle that we’re all trying to figure out,” said Rep. Handy.

Members of the Utah School Safety (USS) Commission:

Terryl Warner, Member of the Utah State Board of Education

Clark Aposhian, Chairman of the Board of the Utah Shooting Sports Council

Dallas Earnshaw, Psychiatry Doctor at Wasatch Mental Health

John Hoffmann, Professor at Brigham Young University

Keith Squires, Commissioner for the Utah Department of Public Safety

Ron Gordon, General Counsel at the Office of the Governor, Utah

Bryan Turner, Director of Architectural Services at Davis School District

Heidi Matthews, President, Utah Education Association

Two High School Students (to be determined)

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Family Safety

SALLY HO and GARANCE BURKE Associated Press

Are you ready for an algorithm that screens families for child neglect?

Child welfare officials in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, the cradle of Mister Rogers' TV neighborhood and the icon's child-centric innovations, are using an algorithm to support agency workers as they make decisions meant to protect children from neglect. The AP identified several concerns about the technology, including questions about its reliability and its potential to harden racial disparities in the child welfare system.
2 months ago
The child ID kits allow parents to have critical information on hand if police need it. (Winston Ar...
Alex Cabrero, KSL TV

Simple form can help police find missing kids quicker

It’s unthinkable for parents. Finding out a child is missing. It's critical for police to have important information about a missing child as quickly as possible and Utah law enforcement is using a form to gather that information even before it's needed.
3 months ago
It turns out Santa is protected by COVID-19 antibodies and social distancing precautions. (Mike And...
Associated Press

NOT REAL NEWS: A look at what didn’t happen this week

A roundup of some of the most popular but completely untrue stories and visuals of the week. None of these are legit, even though they were shared widely on social media.
7 months ago
(KSL TV)...
Tania Dean, KSL TV

Neighborhood Puts On Safe Fireworks Show

In one Saratoga Springs neighborhood, about 40 families pooled their money and came together to safely celebrate the 4th of July with personal fireworks.
12 months ago
Health care workers walk out of a King Sooper's Grocery store after a gunman opened fire on March 2...
Mike Anderson, KSL TV

Utah Security Expert: Situational Awareness Key To Escaping Active Shooter

Following the tragic shooting in a Boulder, Colorado, supermarket, it's unnerving to imagine a confrontation with an active shooter. But one Utah security expert said surviving something like that comes down to situational awareness when out in public.
1 year ago
(KSL TV)...
Robin Heiden

Safe In 60: Common Poisons In Your Home And How To Keep Your Kids Safe

Nine out of 10 unintentional child poisonings happen in the home, and children under the age of 6 make up about 60% of poison exposures in Utah.
1 year ago

Sponsored Articles

hand holding 3d rendering mobile connect with security camera for security solutions...
Les Olson

Wondering what security solutions are right for you? Find out more about how to protect your surroundings

Physical security helps everyone. Keep your employees, clients, and customers safe with security solutions that protect your workplace.
Many rattan pendant lights, hay hang from the ceiling.Traditional and simple lighting....
Lighting Design

The Best Ways to Style Rattan Pendant Lighting in Your Home

Rattan pendant lights create a rustic and breezy feel, and are an easy way to incorporate this hot trend into your home decor.
Earth day 2022...

How Are You Celebrating Earth Day 2022? | 4 Simple Ways to Celebrate Earth Day and Protect the Environment

Earth Day is a great time to reflect on how we can be more environmentally conscious. Here are some tips for celebrating Earth Day.
Get Money Online...

More Ways to Get Money Online Right Now in Your Spare Time

Here are 4 easy ways that you can get more money online if you have some free time and want to make a little extra on the side.
Lighting trends 2022...

Lighting Trends 2022 | 5 Beautiful Home Lighting Trends You Can Expect to See this Year and Beyond

This is where you can see the latest lighting trends for 2022 straight from the Lightovation Show at the Dallas World Trade Center.
What Can't You Throw Away in the Trash...

What Can’t You Throw Away in the Trash? | 5 Things You Shouldn’t Throw in to Your Trash Can

What can't you throw away in the trash? Believe it or not, there are actually many items that shouldn't be thrown straight into the trash.
Task force searching for solutions to school safety