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Arizona Students Meet With Lawmakers To Advocate For Safety Measures

Phoenix-area high school students went to the Capitol before their classes started Thursday morning to advocate for school safety and gun reform.

About a dozen students arrived at the statehouse to speak with lawmakers about safety their safety concerns and to support a policy platform.

Jordan Harb is a 17-year-old junior at Mountain View High School. He said students wanted to speak to legislators in response to Gov. Doug Ducey’s proposed school safety plan.

Harb said he thinks hiring more counselors should be a higher priority than funding more school resource officers:

“A counselor is going to stop shooters from developing in the first place — stop suicides,” Harb said. “You know I have friends who are on the verge of killing themselves, yet they can’t get the support they need because my school is underfunded.”

Harb said the state should also provide psychiatrists to help students deal with the increasing stress of their daily lives.

“There are so many kids, I know at my school, who are in pain, who are depressed. And especially with social media and bullying — it’s really an epidemic.”

Harb said in addition to more counselors, the student group met with House democratic leadership to ask for universal background checks and a ban on bump stocks.

The students said they are planning town halls and walkouts in coordination with the national March For Our Lives campaign.

Jimmy Jenkins was a producer and senior field correspondent at KJZZ from 2014 to 2021.