FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 6, 2023
PHOENIX – Representative Laura Terech today reintroduced her school safety bill to help save lives in case of a school shooting by exempting public school campus blueprints from being a public record. Terech introduced the bill last session and saw it gain strong bipartisan support, passing the House Government Committee 9-0. The bill was stopped, however, by an unwritten arbitrary House Republican rule that required a majority of its caucus, 16 members, to sign a whip sheet for the measure to be voted on the floor. Terech successfully debated the bill on the floor and garnered 12 signatures from her Republican colleagues, a super-majority along with unanimous Democratic Caucus support, but nonetheless the bill died.
Terech said she has worked throughout the off session to show how House Bill 2032 would increase campus safety, including for law enforcement if there is a campus shooting or emergency, to build additional support for the bill to make it into law in 2024.
"As schools become safer with locked doors and single points of entry, 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 former elementary school teacher and member of the House's informal Teachers Caucus. "This bill would also keep law enforcement safe. 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 the 2023 mass-casualty school shooting in Nashville, the shooter planned the attack, which including detailed maps of the buildings used to gain entry. Terech came to support the idea of exempting school blueprints from public records laws after researching which states had the lowest number of school shootings relative to population and noted that at least two other states now have similar laws.