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Safety Law News for October 10, 2018

In Arkansas, the Governor tasked the Arkansas School Safety Commission to produce two reports -- the first due July 1 and the second Nov. 30 -- to look at mental health, school security plans, and how schools partner with local law enforcement.  The first Report found that more than 75 percent of the districts planned changes in the physical security of their school buildings, such as video surveillance, bullet-proof glass in reception areas or classroom doors that can be locked from the inside.  Only a small percentage of schools are using commissioned school security officers on campus. 

In Pennsylvania, officials in the Council Rock School District are allocating a $20,000 state grant to pay for 50 staff members to receive comprehensive ALICE training. ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate) prepares school districts to handle the threat of an active shooter.  Once certified, the staff will train all district staff in the ALICE technique. 

In Tennessee, a Report from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation shows almost 1,700 incidents involving guns or threats of guns at schools or colleges from 2001 to 2017— nearly one every three days.  The rate of students having guns at Tennessee schools exceeded the national average.  From 2001 to 2017, there were 10 slayings at Tennessee schools involving a gun. 

In Wisconsin, the Madison School Board is considering the recommendations provided by members of an ad hoc committee set up to study the role of school-based law enforcement officers at schools. The committee strongly recommends that the renewal of the contract with the police department be contingent on some oversight so that students will know what to expect.  The single biggest recommendation is to make restorative justice the first alternative for students facing disciplinary action, and require that officers be trained in adolescent brain development and the school district’s classroom code of conduct.

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