Safe Storage Governing Board Resolution

  • At the April 9, 2024 Governing Board meeting, members of the board approved a “Safe Storage Resolution” asking the community to safely store and secure all firearms. Safe storage is a critical step in making sure that children do not have access to firearms and an important part of keeping themselves and others safe.

    RESOLUTION

    RESOLUTION APPROVING THE SAFE STORAGE ARGUMENT OF THE GOVERNING BOARD OF MADISON ELEMENTARY SCHOOL DISTRICT NO. 38 OF MARICOPA COUNTY, ARIZONA.

    WHEREAS, Madison Elementary School District serves more than 5,000 students and employs more than 1000 full-time and part-time valued staff members; and

    WHEREAS, the safety and well-being of our students and team members are our top priority every day; and

    WHEREAS, the right of the people to keep and bear arms is enumerated in the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution, and responsible gun ownership includes safe storage of firearms to ensure firearms are not accessible to prohibited possessors or unauthorized persons; and

    WHEREAS, evidence strongly suggests that educating parents on secure firearm storage in their homes is an essential component of any effective strategy to keep schools and students safe; and

    WHEREAS, an estimated 4.6 million American children live in households with at least one loaded, unlocked firearm; and

    WHEREAS, every year in the United States, nearly 350 children under the age of 18 unintentionally shoot themselves or someone else. That’s roughly one unintentional shooting per day, and 77 percent of these incidents take place inside a home; and

    WHEREAS, another 590 children die by gun suicide each year, most often using guns belonging to a family member; and

    WHEREAS, national research on incidents of gun violence on school grounds shows that the perpetrators are more often current students or recent graduates, and that the majority obtained their guns from their own home, a relative’s home, or from friends; and

    WHEREAS, national research shows that secure firearm storage practices are associated with up to a 78 percent reduction in the risk of self-inflicted firearm injuries and an 85 percent reduction in the risk of unintentional firearm injuries among children and teens;

    WHEREAS, the U.S. Secret Service National Threat Assessment Center recommends the importance of appropriate storage of weapons because many school attackers used firearms acquired from their homes; and

    WHEREAS, across the country, lawmakers, community members, and local leaders are working together to implement public awareness campaigns, such as Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America’s Be SMART program, which is endorsed by the National PTA and which encourages secure gun storage practices and highlights the public safety risks of unsecured guns;

    WHEREAS, keeping students, teachers, and staff safe from the threat of gun violence should be the responsibility of all adults in our community; and

    WHEREAS, in order to continue with preventative measures to increase student and school safety we must act now.

    NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Madison Elementary School District Governing Board (the Board) directs the Superintendent to update the Madison Handbook for Students & Parents to include information about the secure storage of firearms; and

    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Board directs the Superintendent to create appropriate communications to parents and guardians that addresses student safety and wellbeing, including the importance of secure gun storage to protect minors from accessing irresponsibly stored guns and to share this communication with all district families as part of back to school activities; and

    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Board and the Superintendent will continue to work with local law enforcement agencies, health agencies and non-profits to collaborate and increase efforts to inform District parents about secure storage of firearms in their homes.

    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Board calls upon the Arizona State Legislature and Governor to enact Safe Storage laws, as the safety and protection of all children require action. The majority of states in our nation have enacted Safe Storage laws which carry criminal penalties for adults who allow guns to be accessed by children. Arizona currently has no such statute. This lack of safe storage laws presents a danger to all children.

    Adopted by Governing Board April 9, 2024