The Arkansas School Safety Commission, the 18-member group appointed by the governor to study and analyze the safety of K-12 schools throughout the state, will present its final recommendations to Governor Hutchinson at a press conference this afternoon at 1 p.m. The event will be livestreamed here.
The commission already released its draft recommendations in a preliminary report over the summer, which included a recommendation for armed security at every campus. The choice about whether to go that route would ultimately be up to each local district, which would retain autonomy on the decision.
From the preliminary report:
No campus should ever be without armed presence when staff and children are present. Whether to provide armed presence and decisions on which strategies to employ are clearly local decisions for school administrators, school boards, parents, teachers and the community and should be made after careful consideration of many factors.
The preliminary report which you can read in full here, also made suggestions on school construction, mental health services and communication with law enforcement agencies, and discussed the need for increased funding in some areas.
Here are the draft recommendations from the commission’s Law Enforcement Subcommittee. The draft gave these strategies for more security on campus:
● Recruit retired officers as auxiliary officers or commissioned school security officers in Schools (CSSO). The CSSO’s could be volunteers to save money.
● Allocate office space for law enforcement to use during the day.
● Use current or retired officers as substitute teachers.
● Schools should collaborate with local law enforcement and seek ways to increase officer traffic on campus.
● Exclude persons who are not psychologically fit for service as a CSSO.