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Letter: Arizona bill aims to improve school safety

With the recently publicized school shootings, one may beg the question, “How safe are our schools?” There has been research done in the past concluding that schools are relatively one of the safest places for our children to be. It is one thing if the child feels safe at school, but if his or her parents knew that the nearest police department was 20-plus miles from the school, would the parent feel that his or her child was safe? Arizona State Sen. Rich Crandall, Republican from Legislative District 16, sponsored a bill that aims to ease the minds of parents whose children are enrolled in one of the 40 eligible school districts in the state. An eligible school district is one with fewer than 600 students, located more than 30 minutes and 20 miles away from the nearest police department and is without a school resource officer.

Senate Bill 1325 permits an educational institution to authorize a school employee to possess a concealed handgun on the school grounds. The sponsor modeled the bill after an elementary school district in Texas. Does this mean that parents in Arizona will feel safer knowing that a trained volunteer school faculty member possesses a handgun in the case that their child’s life is at risk? The bill passed out of the Senate with a partisan vote and narrowly passed out of the House Appropriations Committee with a vote of six in favor and five against. As of right now, it has yet to be heard in the House Rules Committee although stakeholder meetings have taken place. As the 51st Legislature is coming to an end, it is questionable if SB 1325 will have the opportunity for a Final Read or even see Gov. Jan Brewer’s desk this session.




Chrystal Nicole Thompson

State Press Reader


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