New partnership aims to keep Arkansas students safe at school

Safety becoming even more of a priority for Arkansas public schools

GREENBRIER, Ark. (KTHV) -- This week is America's Safe School Week and on Wednesday morning, a statewide announcement for Arkansas schools was made in Greenbrier.

Arkansas Center for School Safety is a new partnership between the U of A Criminal Justice Institute and the Arkansas Department of Education. It will make sure local law enforcement and educators are up to date on the best safety plans.

“Really will help us move forward with training for our educators, administrators, school resource officers, providing resources for our school around the state," said Arkansas Department of Education Commissioner Johnny Key.

This goal is to provide even more free training to Arkansas educators and police for things like active shooter response, drugs on campus, gang awareness, and bullying prevention.

"I think it’s important that every school provides that level of security for their kids," said State Senator Missy Irvin (R).

Irvin has been working hard on student safety since 2013. Since then we've seen more school resource officers. She works closely with Key.

"Four years later, a lot of work has been done with really bringing it together. The Center for Safe Schools really puts Arkansas at the forefront in the nation," said Key.

This partnership will address each district for its specific needs, whether that be more training classes, up to date resources, or new safety plans.

“There are certain programs on a national level that we can now bring in because were now one of 27 school safety centers," said Dr. Cheryl May, Director of Criminal Justice Institute.

A few years ago the Attorney General committed $500,000 towards making this happen and because of this partnership, more grants are expected to flow in.

© 2017 KTHV-TV


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