Anti-stalking bill signed in honor of late teacher
TACOMA — Governor Jay Inslee sat in a class-room at Birney Elementary in Tacoma and put pen to paper.
He was signing a bill three years in the making.
In 2010, Jennifer Paulson, a special education teacher at Birney Elementary was gunned down just a few feet from her classroom, by a man who had been stalking her for years.
“It was one of those mornings that has changed many of our lives forever,” said former superintendent Art Jarvis.
Jennifer had filed for – and got – an anti-harrassment order against her stalker but it didn`t do any good.
The new stalking protection order named in her honor, is stronger, giving the same protections as a domestic violence victim would receive. The new law applies to both physical and online cases of stalking in which the suspect makes repeated attempts to contact, monitor, track or follow someone in a manner that causes that person to feel threatened or frightened.
“It will finally shine a light on a serious crime and give police officers the notice they need that they are dealing with a very serious situation,” said Inslee.
Protecting future stalking victims is also why Jennifer’s father, Ken Paulson, has been working on this bill for three long years.
He said that’s what his daughter would have wanted.