With the increased concern about school safety in the wake of recent events around the nation, Governor Asa Hutchinson announced Friday that he has issued an executive order to reinstate the Arkansas School Safety Commission.
“The recent violence in Texas was a stark reminder that the work of securing our schools is never done,” Governor Hutchinson said. “That is why I am calling the Arkansas School Safety Commission back into service. Members of the commission, which I created in 2018, submitted thirty significant recommendations in their original 124-page report. School districts around the state have implemented many of the recommendations.
“But it is crucial that we constantly assess the security of our schools and keep abreast of the best ways to ensure our children and educators are safe. The original commission built a solid foundation on which to continue this vital work.”
Members of the commission will review the final report from the Commission in 2018. They will update the analysis of the safety of K-12 schools throughout the state taking into consideration the physical and mental health of students. The Commission will identify any new recommendations of best practices in school safety that have developed since 2018.
The School Safety Commission’s first meeting will be Tuesday, June 14, 2022, at the State Capitol, and the initial report is due to Governor Hutchinson on August 1, 2022.
The commission will include a representative from the Arkansas Attorney General’s office, the Arkansas Division of Emergency Management (ADEM), the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE), and the Arkansas Law Enforcement Training Academy (ALETA).
The commission also will include the director of the CJI, a county sheriff, a public school superintendent, a public school teacher, a public school counselor, and a former federal law enforcement officer.
Members of the commission are as follows:
- Dr. Cheryl May, Chair – Director, Criminal Justice Institute, University of Arkansas System
- Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, or her designee
- A.J. Gary – Director, Division of Emergency Management, Arkansas Department of Public Safety
- Dr. David Hopkins – Superintendent, Clarksville School District
- Donna Wilchie – School Counselor, Conway School District
- Tim Cain – Director, Division of Public School Academic Facilities and Transportation, Arkansas Department of Education
- Crystal Braswell – Office of Coordinated Support and Services, Division of Elementary and Secondary Education, Arkansas Department of Education
- Tim Helder – Sheriff, Washington County
- Bill Temple – Retired Special Agent, Federal Bureau of Investigation
- Dr. Laura Dunn – Director, UAMS Psychiatric Research Institute
- Secretary Jami Cook – Director, Arkansas Law Enforcement Training Academy – Secretary, Arkansas Department of Public Safety
- John Allison – Teacher, Vilonia High School
- Marvin Burton – Principal, Little Rock School District
- Chris Chapmond – Chief, Hot Springs Police Department – President, Arkansas Association of Chiefs of Police
- Patricia Gann – Deputy Director, Division of Aging, Adult, and Behavioral Health Services – Arkansas Department of Human Services
- Bill Gossage – Deputy Chief of Staff, External Operations, Governor’s Office
- Linda Graham – School Psychologist, Nettleton School District
- Dr. Mike Hernandez – Executive Director, Arkansas Association of Educational Administrators
- Bill Hollenbeck – Chief of Police, Fort Smith Public Schools
- Ricky Hopkins – Parent, Prescott School District
- Tom Jenkins – Chief, Rogers Fire Department
- Lori Poston – Vice President of Clinical Services, Northeast Region, Arisa Health
- Courtney Salas-Ford – Chief Legal Counsel, Division of Elementary and Secondary Education – Arkansas Department of Education
- Paula Stone – Assistant Director, Children’s Services, Division of Aging, Adult, and Behavioral Health Services – Arkansas Department of Human Services