Arkansas School Continues to Improve Security

Arkansas School Continues to Improve Security

Green Forest School District in Green Forest, Ark., continues to take security seriously following last year’s security and safety audit.

Green Forest School District in Green Forest, Ark., continues to take security seriously following last year’s security and safety audit.

"The safety and security audit is a very detailed look at your buildings and your surroundings," Superintendent Dr. Matt Summers said. "Not only an active shooter situation, what if someone tried to plant a bomb, vehicles coming through our campus."

The district made some changes after a safety and security audit last year, according to Summers.

"In the past, we just locked down everything and we just hunkered down," Summers said. "Not a best practice. The best practice is: lock down where the threat is, evacuate everybody else, get them out of the area."

Additional security measures include numbered hallways, mirrors that allow people to see around corners, special windows, speed bumps and the hiring of more school resource officers.

"We have four school resource officers. We have one in each building with their police car and uniform every day," Summers said.

The district decided to arm several employees last year on a volunteer basis. Due to safety reasons, the district does not disclose who or how many are armed.

Employees who volunteer to be armed must undergo background checks, drug tests, psychological tests, active shooter training and first aid training to get an armed security guard license. The training continues throughout the year.

"There was what we call tactical first aid, employing tourniquets," Summers said.

The training and the gun are paid for by the district. The gun must be concealed on the employee’s person or in a safe.

There was no gun violence on campus during this first year of the security changes, Summers said.

"We have done everything in our power as a board, as a community to protect our most valued asset, which is our kids," he said.

The next security and safety audit will take place next spring.

About the Author

Jessica Davis is the Associate Content Editor for 1105 Media.


  • Making Safety and Security Intrinsic to School Design

    Public anxieties about school safety are escalating across the country. According to a 2023 Gallup report, 44% of parents fear for their child’s physical safety at school, a 10 percentage-point increase since 2019. Unfortunately, these fears are likely to increase if the incidence of school tragedies continues to mount. As a result, school leaders are now charged with two non-negotiable responsibilities. The first, as always, is to ensure kids have what they need to learn, grow, and thrive. Sadly, their second responsibility is to keep the children in their care safe from threats and physical danger. Read Now

  • Unlocking Peace of Mind

    In a perfect world, every school would have an unlimited budget to help secure their schools. In reality, schools must prioritize what budget they have while navigating the complexities surrounding school security and lockdown Read Now

  • Emerging Campus Access Control Solutions

    Emerging solutions in campus access control can mean different things. Usually, we expect the topic to focus on the very latest in door security products and solutions that have just been recently released or are about to be launched. After all, staying up on improvements to keep campuses safer is critical. Plus, it’s always interesting and exciting to learn what’s new and how innovations are going to better protect lives and assets and help the industry be even more successful. Read Now

  • Here’s How Instructional Audio Can Play a Key Role in School Safety

    Ensuring the safety of students and employees is critical in today’s educational environment. While the threat of a school shooting is in the back of everyone’s mind, the truth is there are many possible scenarios that could crop up at any time in classrooms, hallways, and other school spaces—from fights or altercations to a sick child or staff member who requires emergency attention. Read Now