In Arizona, High School Students Are Making Mental Health the Focus of Anti-Gun-Violence Legislation

In Arizona, High School Students Are Making Mental Health the Focus of Anti-Gun-Violence Legislation

Gun Rights

People participate in a “March For Our Lives” rally in Phoenix’s state Capitol, on March 24, 2018. (AP Photo / Matt York) On February 6, a sea of orange shirts flooded a small room on the third floor of the Arizona State Capitol. There were 100 of us — so many that some had to sit on the floor. In memory of the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, teenagers across the state of Arizona have taken it upon themselves to advocate for their own school safety. In order to avoid being added to the list of victims of the gun violence epidemic raging across the country, Arizona students have organized and staged marches, protests, sit-ins and die-ins to promote and broaden the inclusion of gun safety in the agenda of the Arizona legislature. March For Our Lives Arizona, run and led by teenagers, has over 65 clubs in schools across the state plus seven regional groups, and members in every single congressional district. Most recently, our organizing has coalesced in a bill, which is what brought us to the state capitol earlier this month. Through HB2957, school districts would be required to create a school safety plan, which would outline how each school will respond to students in mental health crises. It would also mandate that schools develop partnerships with outside community organizations or agencies that students can be referred to when counselors cannot provide long-term care. This story was produced for Student Nation, […]

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