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Friday PM headlines: A 'troubled teen' center is shutting down

Mike Lee
Mike Lee's website

Utah State Board of Education responds to social media posts by board member

On Thursday, the Utah State Board of Education (USBE) released a statement responding to social media posts made by board member Natalie Cline, who said that schools are complicit in “grooming children” and “brainwashing them into queer, gender-bending ideologies."

The USBE statement said the board firmly believes children must be protected from inappropriate sexual behavior in school, and that they disagree with Cline's statements.

The statement said that this allegation is inflammatory and unfair to Utah’s teachers who put students first everyday. The board condemns any harassment or discrimination against teachers or students based on sexual orientation as provided by Utah law.

The statement ended by stating the board applauds the efforts of Utah teachers, parents and education leaders.

Diamond Ranch Academy is denied license renewal

After the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) denied a license renewal for Diamond Ranch Academy, the "troubled teen" school announced it will close.

The school had received multiple complaints and lawsuits against the denial of license renewal.

The school is located in Hurricane and all of its clients must be discharged on or before August 14, 2023. According to DHHS, the school was denied a license renewal due to “severe physical neglect,” failure to monitor staff and three student deaths at the school.

The school was denied both a license renewal to operate as a therapeutic school and residential treatment, and a license to operate for day treatment and outpatient treatment.

Executive Director at Diamond Ranch Academy Ricky Dias said in a statement that the license renewal decision is "unfair.”

Sen. Mike Lee introduces bill to increase access to low-cost prescription drugs

Sen. Mike Lee, along with Sens. Ben Ray Lujan, Mike Braun and J.D. Vance, introduced the Biosimilar Red Tape Elimination Act.

This bill is meant to increase competition within the biological drug market and access to low-cost prescription drugs.

The bill would make it so generic small-molecule drugs would be interchangeable with their branded equivalent with approval from the FDA.

According to a release from Sen. Lee, removing the barrier of interchangeability will increase access to these lower-cost biosimilar generic drugs and will save billions of dollars for payers and consumers over the next five years.

Caitlin Keith is a general news reporter at UPR. She is from Lindon, Utah and is currently an undergrad student studying print journalism at USU. Caitlin loves to write and tell people’s stories. She is also a writer at the Utah Statesman. She loves to read, ski, play the cello and watch various TV shows.