Hutchinson Announces Appointments to School Safety Commission

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Monday, Mar. 12, 2018 11:31 am   2 min read


Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Monday announced appointments to the Arkansas School Safety Commission, which will hold its first meeting on Tuesday.

The governor formed the commission March 1 to look at improving security at Arkansas schools in light of the school massacre in Florida in February, though he said he would oppose gun control measures such as raising the minimum age to buy firearms.

The panel faces a July 1 deadline to issue an initial report, with final recommendations due by the end of November.

The governor said the panel will look at several issues, including school designs, safety policies, emergency plans and mental health. He also committed $300,000 for additional training for school resource officers and school security assessments.

"It is a top priority for me, as governor, to ensure that our schools are a safe environment for our students to learn and for our teachers to teach," Hutchinson said in a news release Monday. "I've appointed first-rate members of this commission who will travel to schools all across the state to listen and to assess what all is being done to secure our schools — as well as what more needs to be done. I am grateful for their willingness to serve our state."

Members of the commission are:

  • Cheryl May, chair. May is the director of the Criminal Justice Institute, part of the University of Arkansas System.
  • Bill Temple, vice chair. Temple is a retired special agent for the FBI.
  • John "Don" Kaminar, special projects and school safety manager at the Arkansas Department of Education.
  • Brad Montgomery, director of public school academic facilities at the education department.
  • A.J. Gary, director of the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management.
  • Tim Helder, Washington County sheriff.
  • Jami Cook, director of the Arkansas Law Enforcement Training Academy.
  • Will Jones, deputy attorney general, special investigations unit, Arkansas attorney general's office.
  • David Hopkins, superintendent of the Clarksville School District.
  • Dawn Anderson, high school counselor, Hot Springs High School.
  • John Allison, teacher, Vilonia High School.
  • Tom Jenkins, chief of the Rogers Fire Department.
  • Marvin L. Burton, deputy superintendent for the Little Rock School District.
  • Lori Poston, child and adolescent therapist from Jonesboro.
  • Dr. Margaret Weiss, professor in Department of Psychiatry and director of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.
  • Ricky Hopkins, parent of a student in Prescott School District.
  • Sterling Claypoole, professor in psychology at South Arkansas Community College and parent of students in the El Dorado School District.
  • Joyce Cottoms, superintendent for the Marvell-Elaine School District.

(The Associated Press contributed to this article.)



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