Fear of the unknown or fear of activities like a gay basketball league or passing out condoms in a public health program nearly sunk a bill Monday afternoon that would basically force all public schools to allow its facilities to be used by a community organization.
Rep. Greg Hughes, R-Draper, said in his area, parks are over-crowded with youth soccer and baseball teams, all while ball fields at local schools go unused. His HB332 is aimed at telling local school districts that they must let local groups use such facilities unless it conflicts with school schedules or school "purposes."
But Rep. Ron Bigelow, R-West Valley City, said he is worried that any number of events could, using the bill's language, force their way into public schools.
"How far will this go down the road?" said Bigelow. "There are enterprising minds out there. It will be interesting. I'm nervous enough about this, not knowing the ramifications. What types of groups will be included here?
"I don't want a lot of different groups just using (public schools) as a community center, just because (the schools) are available. What about a community health organization, maybe promoting education activities that don't coincide with the norms of our society?"
Hughes' bill passed 41-31 and now goes to the Senate.