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School safety recommendations for Utah could be pricey

File photo of students at Brockbank Elementary School raising their hands to ask questions. (Ravell Call/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — A school safety committee tasked with coming up with recommendations to improve both schools and mental health in Utah says their ideas could come with a hefty price tag – but one they think will be worth it in the long run.

Among the recommendations are items like remodeling older schools to add more security measures and cut out extra points of entry, add law enforcement officers at schools, hire mental health professionals to work in the schools with students, and launch preventative programs.

All told, the ideas from the Utah School Safety Advisory Committee could cost the state nearly $100 million in the first year, but by the time you account for those preventative programs, it’s closer to $200 million. Changes would be customized to each individual school.

Some lawmakers responded that the state’s priority should be physical safety of students first, keeping mental health a separate goal.

The committee presented its recommendations at an interim meeting, with a bill likely to be presented before the legislature in January.

 

You can read more in the Deseret News here.

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