A former educator in the state legislature has reintroduced a bill she believes will help keep Arizona schools safe in an active shooter situation.
House Bill 2032, introduced by Rep. Laura Terech, D-Scottsdale, aims to make it more difficult for those targeting schools to get a lay of the land by exempting school blueprints from public records requests.
Currently, Arizona’s public records law requires all government-owned records to be available to the public, including “maps, photographs, or other documentary materials.” In 2012, the legislature passed an exemption similar to Terech’s proposal for student records.
“It’s important for us to stay one step ahead of those with nefarious intent, and that’s what this bill does,” said Terech. “A nightmare scenario is someone using blueprint information to not only harm children, but potentially to harm first responders as they navigate the crisis.”
In March, a former student at an elementary school in Nashville planned and executed an attack on the school, resulting in the deaths of three students and three adults. As part of their preparation for the attack, the shooter studied maps of the school and surveilled the premises.
Terech introduced this same bill in 2023 and received overwhelming bipartisan support. It passed by way of unanimous vote in the House Government Committee, and Terech received written support from 12 House Republicans and 29 Democrats.
But Republican leaders refused to bring the bill to a vote, pointing to an unofficial policy where they would only bring bills to a vote if it had support from a majority of Republicans, leaving Terech’s bill short by four.
The bill will be considered by lawmakers during the 2024 legislative session, which begins January 8.
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