Arkansas - Multi-hazard Practice Drills: Program Requirements

Program Requirement
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State law requires districts to implement multi-hazard practice drills (e.g., fire, lockdown, active shooter, or evacuation drills) andencourages or requires inter-agency coordination.

2017 Arkansas Code 6-10-121. Tornado safety drills -- Definition

(a) (1) As used in this section, "public school" means:

  • (A) A school that is part of a public school district under the control and management of a local school district board of directors; or
  • (B) An open-enrollment public charter school.

    • (2) "Public school" includes the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences, and the Arts, the Arkansas School for the Deaf, the Arkansas School for the Blind, and juvenile detention centers.

(b) The Director of the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management shall require all public schools to conduct tornado safety drills not less than three (3) times per year in the months of September, January, and February.

2017 Arkansas Code 6-15-1303. Safe Schools Initiative Act

(a) A school district shall develop a school safety plan and provide annual training for all of its employees and students, to the extent practicable, in preventing and responding to acts of violence, terrorism, natural disaster, and other emergencies, including without limitation:

  • (1) Tornado safety drills under § 6-10-121;
  • (2) Emergency plans and panic button alert systems under § 6-15-1302; and
  • (3)
    • (A) Annual active shooter drills and school safety assessments in collaboration with local law enforcement and emergency management personnel for all schools, including a school lockdown exercise with panic button alert system training.
    • (B) The purpose of the training is to allow participants to:
      • (i) Discuss simulated emergency situations in a low-stress environment;
      • (ii) Clarify the roles and responsibilities of individuals and the logistics of handling an emergency on the school campus; and
      • (iii) Identify areas in which the school safety plan should be modified.


  • (1) On or before September 1, 2015, a school shall provide floor plans and pertinent emergency contact information to be used in connection with the panic button alert system through the statewide Smart911 system.
  • (2) Public school administration shall update the information as necessary, including when substantial building modifications or changes are made.
  • (3) Information provided under this subsection is not a public record and is not available for public inspection.

(c) (1) Subject to an appropriation and funding for this purpose, the Criminal Justice Institute shall provide the necessary training and education for:

  • (A) Personnel designated by a school district or an education service cooperative concerning the active shooter drills required under this section through its Safe Schools Initiative; and
  • (B) Law enforcement officers, emergency management personnel, and other persons who will conduct the school safety assessments and active shooter drills on a school campus under this section.
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