LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — The Arkansas School Safety Commission has crafted a preliminary report calling for every school campus to have some form of armed security when children and staff are present.
The assessment concludes armed security is a "best practice" for schools but that related decisions should be made on a local school district level. The draft report also includes proposals on school safety audits, emergency plans, mental health services, threat assessments and protecting school buildings against active shooters.
The commission of educators, law enforcement officers and mental health professionals met this week to tweak the preliminary report before submitting it to Gov. Asa Hutchinson by Sunday.
Commission member David Hopkins said funding needs to be provided for an armed presence on campus. Commission member John Kaminar said the term "campus" is vague as a campus can often contain more than one school.
The draft report will continue to be discussed, researched and modified until the commission submits its final recommendations to the governor in November. The commission referred the proposals to a state advisory council on academic facilities to conduct further research. The data gathered will be considered for inclusion in the commission's final report.
"The work will continue," said Cheryl May, the commission's chairman and director of the University of Arkansas Criminal Justice Institute.
Hutchinson formed the commission to improve school security in March after the Florida school shooting that killed 17. Other shootings since then included a Texas high school shooting where 10 people were killed and an Indiana middle school shooting where two were shot.