State law requires state agencies to develop models and guidance for districts to promote positive social and emotional climate.
Arkansas Code 6-16-1004. Dating violence awareness
(d) The Division of Elementary and Secondary Education shall annually provide a list of source materials available for school districts to use to teach a unit on dating violence awareness, including without limitation materials from:
- (1) The Arkansas Coalition Against Domestic Violence;
- (2) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention;
- (3) The National Domestic Violence Hotline;
- (4) The National Institutes of Health; and
- (5) Other sources of scientifically based research that are peer-reviewed.
Arkansas Code 6-17-711. Bullying prevention — Professional development.
(a) The Division of Elementary and Secondary Education shall require two (2) hours of professional development in the following areas for licensed public school personnel according to the professional development schedule under § 6-17-709:
- (1) Bullying prevention; and
- (2) Recognition of the relationship between incidents of bullying and the risk of suicide. (b) The professional development under this section shall count toward the satisfaction of requirements for professional development in the Standard for Accreditation of Arkansas Public Schools and School Districts and of licensure requirements for licensed personnel. (c)
- (1) In addition to the professional development requirement under subsection (a) of this section, the division shall develop a guidance document for use by parents and legal guardians, students, and public school districts to assist in resolving complaints concerning student bullying behaviors.
- (2) The guidance document required under subdivision (c)(1) of this section shall include without limitation:
- (A) A public school district's obligations under § 6-18-514;
- (B) Best practices for the prevention, reporting, and investigation of and the response to bullying in public schools; and
- (C) A clear definition of bullying that provides examples regarding conduct that does and does not constitute bullying.
- (3) The guidance document under subdivision (c)(1) of this section shall be provided to licensed public school personnel as part of the professional development required under subsection (a) of this section.
Arkansas Code 6-18-111. School safety and crisis line.
- (1) The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Psychiatric Research Institute shall establish and operate a pilot program that creates a school safety and crisis line to be known as “ARSafeSchools” that can be accessed by the following means, including without limitation:
- (A) Telephone;
- (B) Text message; and
- (C) Smartphone application.
- (A) Telephone;
- (2) Participation in the pilot program established under subdivision (a)(1) of this section shall be voluntary for public schools in this state. (b) The school safety and crisis line under this section shall:
- (1) Provide a means for a student to anonymously report:
- (A) Unsafe, violent, or criminal activities or the threat of unsafe, violent, or criminal activities at, near, or concerning a public school;
- (B) Incidents of bullying, harassment, or hazing, including without limitation conduct described in § 6-18-514;
- (C) Incidents of physical or sexual abuse committed against a student by:
- (i) Another student;
- (ii) A school employee;
- (iii) A school volunteer; or
- (iv) Any other person if the physical or sexual abuse occurred at a public school or a school-sponsored event;
- (D) Thoughts of suicide experienced by the student or by another individual whom the student knows;
- (E) Feelings experienced by the student of:
- (i) Stress;
- (ii) Depression; or
- (iii) Anxiety;
- (F) Issues involving drug abuse or alcohol abuse, or both, regarding the student or another individual whom the student knows;
- (G) Issues with addiction faced by the student or another individual whom the student knows;
- (H) Domestic violence experienced by the student or by another individual whom the student knows;
- (I) Infliction of self-harm by the student or by another individual whom the student knows;
- (J) Feelings of grief or loss, or both; and
- (K) Other behaviors, incidents, actions, or threats that the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Psychiatric Research Institute may determine are important for a student to report under this section;
- (2) Provide crisis intervention, including without limitation suicide prevention services, to students experiencing emotional or psychiatric distress;
- (3) Operate twenty-four (24) hours per day, seven (7) days per week; and
- (4) Begin operation at a time and in phases determined by the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Psychiatric Research Institute to allow time for the establishment of the school safety and crisis line and the training of personnel to carry out the operations of the school safety and crisis line under this section. (c)
- (1) Personnel operating the school safety and crisis line shall, when necessary or as required by law, promptly forward a report received under subsection (b) of this section to appropriate:
- (A) School officials; or
- (B) Law enforcement agencies.
- (2) An individual who acts in good faith under this section while operating the school safety and crisis line shall not be liable for civil damages for an act or omission taken in good faith while operating the school safety and crisis line so long as the act or omission does not constitute gross negligence or willful misconduct. (d) The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Psychiatric Research Institute shall:
- (1) Establish, operate, maintain, provide training, and make all decisions regarding a school safety and crisis line under this section;
- (2) Collaborate with public schools for the implementation and use of the school safety and crisis line under this section; and
- (3) Use funding from the ARSafeSchools Fund under § 6-18-112 to provide training for personnel regarding the operation of the school safety and crisis line under this section. (e) Messages, recordings, and any personal information received by an individual operating a school safety and crisis line under this section are confidential and not subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act of 1967, § 25-19-101 et seq.
Arkansas Code 6-18-516. Effective school discipline -- Definition
(d) The division shall:
- (1) Provide school districts with resources for the best practices in effective school discipline; and
- (2) Annually communicate to school districts:
- (A) The availability of and how to access the data listed in subsection (b) of this section; and
- (B) How to access the resources listed in subdivision (d)(1) of this section.