State looking to enhance safety of Arizona schools

PHOENIX – Arizona Governor Doug Ducey has released a plan to improve safety at Arizona schools. The first paragraph of the “Safe Arizona Schools” action plan reads, “In the first two months of 2018, 14 school shootings occurred in the United States – from elementary schools to college campuses.”

A press release from the governor’s office states that, “Arizona students have the right to feel safe in their classrooms and parents deserve peace of mind that their children are protected at school and in their communities. Learning from past tragedies and looking at the cracks in the system, areas have been identified where resources can be provided to protect against severe threats and close loopholes to better protect Arizonans while still guarding the Second Amendment rights of law abiding citizens.”

When developing these Arizona based solutions, Governor Ducey met with stakeholders from across the state including: students, parents, teachers, school administrators, behavioral and mental health professionals, law enforcement officers, county prosecutors, Democratic and Republican legislators, the Arizona Attorney General and the Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction.

To address the shared concerns and priorities of these diverse groups, the Safe Arizona Schools Plan was developed.

“Arizona can lead the nation in tackling the issue of school safety and the Safe Arizona Schools Plan is an aggressive approach that puts the safety of our schools and communities first,” said Governor Ducey. “This plan has been shaped by the lessons we’ve learned from past tragedies and by meaningful solutions we’ve heard from Arizonans across the state. School safety is a top priority for the entire state and we are committed to taking swift and decisive action to increase the safety of our communities.”

Calls for action in the plan include:

  • Investing in mental and behavioral health resources at schools
  • Creating a central tip line for reporting school safety concerns
  • Restricting firearms access for dangerous individuals through a Severe Threat Order of Protection (STOP)
  • Enhancing background checks by improving the completeness and accuracy of the criminal history database
  • Increasing school resource officers and law enforcement resources for schools
  • Eliminating background check gaps

To view the complete details of the plan click HERE.