NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - The web and social media sites pose a new wave of threats for Arkansas schools.
More than 200 Arkansas school personnel, administrators, and schools resource officers gather Monday to explore school safety issues.
The Arkansas Safe Schools Conference works to improve safety in schools by sharing ideas and resources that can be utilized to strengthen schools and communities throughout the State.
The internet throws in a whole new element for school resource officers to think about, while protecting students says former Safe Schools President Richard Davies.
"It broadened that communication. So that those little threats, the little insults, the little bullying things that were happening in school now are going to carry on to an even larger scale," says Davies.
Davies devotes a tremendous amount of time and energy to create a safe learning environment. He is leading a three day conference where 200 school officials and law enforcement will focus on how to protect the innocent. Much of the discussion shifts to the web.
"We try to investigate it as best we can and the number one thing we can do is get parents involved. Most parents don't have facebook, don't get facebook and they don't know it's going on," says Sheridan Watts, School Resource Officer at Northeast Arkansas Career and Tech. Center.
Jamey Carter with Westside Schools in Jonesboro says online posts can make a smaller incident a much bigger issue within minutes.
"Even depression with the kids you know some kids are not acting right. You talk to them, it's because of what somebody has said or everybody is talking about this or everybody is bullying me because of what was on facebook," says Carter, also a school resource officer.
Officers like Phil Blaylock can benefit from the web...many times they uncover problems at home from the internet.
"Drug abuse from the parents, sexual abuse, a lot of domestic issues that happen they trickle down to the students and you can definitely tell because of their participation with school," says Blaylock.