Mountain Home superintendent discusses interim report about school safety in Arkansas


   
This week the Arkansas School Safety Commission released its interim report, sharing recommendations including mental health and prevention; intelligence and communication; audits, educational opportunity programs and drills; law enforcement and security; and physical security.

Mountain Home Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Jake Long talked about the report and how prepared Mountain Home schools are for the recommendations with Brad Haworth during the news at 7 Thursday morning.


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The commission, which has met seven times since early June, will submit its final report of findings and recommendations to Governor Asa Hutchinson no later than Oct. 1.

Here are the new recommendations being considered by the commission.

-All school districts should provide access to Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) training to all personal who interact with students.
-All school districts should establish a behavioral threat assessment team with appropriate composition and training.
-Creating a school safety tip line committee to investigate strategies and best practices used in other states to establish and implement a statewide
School Safety Tip Line for Arkansas.
-National Organization for Victim Assistance (NOVA) crisis response training should be made available to school personnel and key stakeholders throughout
the state and ensure all school districts receive relevant training information in a timely manner.
-All students should have access to mental health services, whether in person at school or via telehealth.
-School districts should develop a layered two-way communication access between staff to ensure information sharing during critical incidents (intercom
systems, radios, cell phone apps, etc.)
-New radio systems that are being developed by law enforcement should consider school district(s) in their jurisdiction as part of their initial buildout
and allow access to the law enforcement communication network for critical incidents by certain school administrators and staff.
-An increased focus on cybersecurity.
-Districts should be required to assign a school safety coordinator to each campus to ensure district school safety policies and procedures are being
followed in doing so, create a culture of school safety compliance on every campus.
-Schools should ideally have at least one SRO for each campus and no campus should be without an armed presence at any time.
-The Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERRT) was identified as the standard (best practice) active school shooter training in Arkansas
for law enforcement and commissioned school security officers.
-All school building exterior doors should remained closed and locked during school hours and schools should have a procedure for keeping them closed and
locked during school hours.
-All classroom doors should remain closed and locked during school hours and schools must have a procedure for keeping them closed and locked during
school hours.
-General Assembly should modify current state law 12-13-109 which states all doors and exits must be unlocked to state they must remain locked during
school hours.
-Install electronic access controls for high-frequency use doors.
-Equip classrooms with door locks to be locked from the inside and only allow access from outside for authorized personnel.
-Schools have one visitor point of entrance and a secure area for them at the entrance.
-Implement a visitor management system.
-Schools should have security cameras that are accessed by designated individuals and local law enforcement.
-Districts should have a grand master key for all locks and to also provide to local law enforcement to use during a critical incident.
-Require bus drivers to have at least 20 minutes of the 3-hour required training to be on bus security.
-Add physical security items to the existing bus maintenance and operations facility inspection checklist.
-Require electronic access to all exterior and classroom doors in new constructions.

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