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AR: Commission strikes balance between school security/"mental health and counseling supports"

July 3, 2018, Shreveport, LA KTL,: [AR] Gov. Asa Hutchinson receives School Safety Commission preliminary report Better access to mental-health counseling for students must be a priority as Arkansas leaders look for ways to tighten security at public schools, Governor Asa Hutchinson said today as he accepted a preliminary report from the Arkansas School Safety Commission. Governor Hutchinson created the Commission by executive order on March 1. Members of the Commission, which has met nine times and formed five subcommittees, have visited schools across the state to determine better ways to protect our students in the classroom. “It is crucial that we have mental-health counselors easily available to students,” Governor Hutchinson said at Tuesday’s news conference. “It is crucial that we have threat-assessment teams at schools that coordinate with counselors when a student’s behavior suggests the potential of violence.” In its preliminary report, the commission also recommended that every school have at least one armed officer on campus. Governor Hutchinson stressed that no teacher will be required to carry a weapon. ... “The members of the Commission have been very diligent and thoughtful in their work, and the preliminary report provides clarity for determining the next steps,” Commissioner Key said. “The report strikes the right balance for the prevention of violent acts through improving mental health and counseling supports to students, the mitigation of violent acts through better security of school facilities, and reaction to violent acts through appropriately-trained school resource officers and security staff.”…

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