University of Arkansas Office for Education Policy

Safety First

In AR Legislature on April 27, 2011 at 6:09 pm

And we are back with a review of the hundreds of bills signed into law by your legislators this last legislative session. Today, we are going to talk a little about schools…school safety to be specific.

Several laws were passed by the 88th General Assembly to keep our little tikes safe coming and going to school, and all day while there. Here they are:

  • Act 37 prohibits wireless telephone use in school zones and highway work zones. Yes, that’s what we said. No more cell phones in school zones when kiddos are present.
  • Under Act 613, principals and their designees are prevented from providing notification to parents of law enforcement involvement during the course of an investigation of suspected child maltreatment if the alleged offender is a parent, guardian, custodian, or person standing in loco parentis.
  • Act 100 provides for public notification of sex offenders registered in another state once the registered offender moves into Arkansas, even before the offender has completed the registration process in Arkansas.
  • Act 516  is a bill that makes technical corrections concerning criminal background checks for healthcare providers, as well as transferability of criminal records checks and determination letters among various operational sections of a single service provider. The goal here is to develop a more efficient process of ensuring our kiddos are with safe people all day
  • Act 570 contains language that imposes stiff penalties for committing certain crimes within 1000 feet of a school
  • The goal of Act 598 is to ensure that missing child information will be entered into the missing persons information clearinghouse
  • The Jason Flatt Act will require 2 hours mandatory in-service PD once every five years for licensed personnel in teen suicide awareness and prevention
  • HB 772, Jonathan’s Law, rose in response to the tragedy that occurred earlier this year at an elementary school in Arkansas, when a child died from a playground accident. The law will establish safety standards for anchoring soccer goals on playgrounds and other recreation areas.
For fear that this is becoming an essay instead of a blog post, we are going to stop here and come back with part 2 in our next legislative post. Good luck weathering these storms!
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