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Arkansas superintendents talk school shootings safety | #schoolsaftey


Arkansas superintendents prioritize preventing and reacting to school shootings



What does your safety program look like at your school? You don’t have to get into too many details. But how many Sr Os do you have in your district? And we’ll start with you, Doctor Morson. Ok. So we have 10 including leadership in that department. And so we have uh that’s our secondary schools and then some that provide support at elementary as well. Um And so we’ve had that in place for *** while. We’re one of the first districts to establish our own police department when that was available from the state. And our uh police chief, Bill Hollenbeck, uh served on the governor’s task force uh recently. And so, uh doing some great things related to that. Uh As if I had ***, *** billion dollars, I would hire officers for every building. That’s not *** possibility right now. Uh uh because of cost, but um definitely we’re excited to be able to provide that, that in person support, have those officers there. Um It is something we’ll look to expand in future years. Um And that’s one of the things we hear about the most there are we have cameras, you know, we have uh other types of uh systems that help. Um But really those people, those officers that are trained in the building is, is what people want to see and, and we’re excited to be able to provide that. And what about in? Yes. So we have *** partnership with the Fayetteville uh Police Department for SRO si believe we have eight currently and we also are working with the city on uh some grant funding that allows us to two sr Os per year until we have one at each building. So we’re, we added two for this year, which I believe is what brings us to eight and then we’ll continue to do that until each building has their own. So we’re excited about that and appreciate the city’s uh willingness to partner with us. Uh Also last year, the district uh invested in hiring *** director of, of Safety and security. And so that individual is in the process of doing safety and security audits, updating our policies and procedures. *** lot of that work started last year. We’ll continue that this year. Another thing we’re looking at currently is adding protective safety film to all first level windows in all of our buildings. So we’re in the process of exploring that and bringing *** recommendation and uh to the board. And so uh those are just *** few of the things that are in process, uh constantly looking for ways to just improve our, our overall security on our campuses. Ok. Um, the, the film protection, um, for the windows, does that come from the shooting and covenant where, uh, some windows were shot down? Is that where the conversation came from or did it start? Yeah. So the conversation had started before for that. But I think, you know, that unfortunate incident, uh, just reaffirmed the value of safety film. Right. So if someone looks to enter *** building by breaking through *** window or *** glass door, uh the safety film would prevent that or at least significantly delay. It. Is that *** conversation in uh Fort Smith that the school district has had yet? Yes, we’ve uh uh installed bullet resistant uh film as well and are continuing to discuss uh possible expansion of that. And I know that’s also something through the LARS Act as *** security audit and then meeting privately with the board to go through those details. So, uh we’re interested to expand just again, our police chief talks about hardening the target, you know, and slowing down people if uh if an unfortunate incident was to happen. And so we’re gonna continue to look at every way that we can, we can do that. How many Sr Os do you have? And what is your law enforcement program, uh, look like at each school district Cleveland? Well, right now we have 21 and uh our, our city partners with us. We also have an additional SRO at Tony Town, which covers, uh, Rollins elementary school. And so that’s *** partnership with Tony Town. But the 18 CS S Os which are district employees, they’re really certified security officers and they’re our employees, they do carry weapons. That’s just the way it is. But they’re, they are at every elementary school and, uh, they’re part of those families, you know, part of those teams and, uh, quite frankly, the kids love them. And so do the teachers. And I believe moms and dads really appreciate having the additional layer of security. So that’s, that’s kind of what we do in, in Springdale, in Bentonville, we have uh Sr OS in every high school in every junior high. And then for our Elementaries, we have coverage, we have officers assigned to share those zones and as I said, we just added another one this year and our Sr Os are really critical um for our school district, we appreciate, they work so well with our kids and our family families and we intend to continue to grow in that area. There are so many components to security and really staff awareness, staff training, being alert, uh having great communication with families. They do *** wonderful job of using our hotline to report any suspicious or concerning behavior. And so, um all of those elements are what really builds *** strong security program, having um regular walkthrough with our security director and just making sure that 100% of the time we’re practicing safety. And so um all elements are critical and we will continue to improve those elements every year. Senator Ben, we also have the school resource officers at each high school and in the middle school. And then we do provide that coverage at our elementary level and we’re *** smaller system geographically. And so our, our police uh are able to get to all of our schools very quickly and and have *** very rapid response time if anything were to happen. So as, as Jones mentioned, we have *** great working relationship also with our police and they, uh, they often communicate with us on Sunday at midnight. If there’s *** threat, they see something posted on social media. And so we are very fortunate both with the law and all the Rogers police and then also with the county, they, they have been incredible in terms of helping us and making sure that they take care of us. And I think the other thing that we talk about too *** little bit is that convenience is off, is often the greatest threat to security that you leave *** door propped open just so that it’s easier to come back and forth. And so sometimes it’s not necessarily the people that we have in the building, uh, that’s armed and ready, but it’s those individuals that are there to just practicing those good safe practices every day, making sure your door is locked, making sure the exterior doors are secure. And also we have the Behavioral Threat assessment teams that we’ve created, all of us have created to, to look at. Do, are we worried about certain students? Are we worried about certain threats that are out there that we feel are credible? And then what are we gonna do with that? Use that information, make *** judgment on how credible it is and then who do we need to get involved to, to assess that particular threat?

Arkansas superintendents prioritize preventing and reacting to school shootings

Superintendents in Northwest Arkansas and the River Valley talked about different ways their districts plan to keep students alive during a shooting.They stressed close relationships with police, saying that officers can help stop end shootings early.”If I had a billion dollars, I would hire officers for every building,” said Terry Morawski, the superintendent for Fort Smith Schools, which has its own police department. “That’s not a possibility right now because of cost. But we’re definitely excited to be able to provide that in-person support, have those officers there.” Jared Cleveland, Springdale superintendent, said the security officers at schools in his district are like family.”The kids love them, and so do teachers,” Cleveland said. “And I believe moms and dads really appreciate having the additional layer of security.”John Mulford, a Fayetteville superintendent, said he plans to ask the school board to install bullet-resistant film on the windows, partly in response to the shooting in Nashville in March. There, the perpetrator shot through glass doors to gain access to the building and killed six people.”The conversation had started before that, but I think that unfortunate incident just re-affirmed the value of safety film,” Mulford said. “So if someone seeks to enter a building by breaking through a window or a glass door, the safety film would prevent that, or at least significantly delay it.”Back to School Special40/29 News on the Record: Back to School (6:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 14): We bring you information for schools across the area as well as interviews with the governor, other lawmakers and educators so you know all you need to for the first week of school.

Superintendents in Northwest Arkansas and the River Valley talked about different ways their districts plan to keep students alive during a shooting.

They stressed close relationships with police, saying that officers can help stop end shootings early.

“If I had a billion dollars, I would hire officers for every building,” said Terry Morawski, the superintendent for Fort Smith Schools, which has its own police department. “That’s not a possibility right now because of cost. But we’re definitely excited to be able to provide that in-person support, have those officers there.”

Jared Cleveland, Springdale superintendent, said the security officers at schools in his district are like family.

“The kids love them, and so do teachers,” Cleveland said. “And I believe moms and dads really appreciate having the additional layer of security.”

John Mulford, a Fayetteville superintendent, said he plans to ask the school board to install bullet-resistant film on the windows, partly in response to the shooting in Nashville in March. There, the perpetrator shot through glass doors to gain access to the building and killed six people.

“The conversation had started before that, but I think that unfortunate incident just re-affirmed the value of safety film,” Mulford said. “So if someone seeks to enter a building by breaking through a window or a glass door, the safety film would prevent that, or at least significantly delay it.”

Back to School Special

  • 40/29 News on the Record: Back to School (6:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 14): We bring you information for schools across the area as well as interviews with the governor, other lawmakers and educators so you know all you need to for the first week of school.



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