Friday morning, December 21, twenty-eight individuals met in the Sloan-Hendrix District Administration building to discuss how those in the community could help with making the Sloan-Hendrix school campus more secure for the safety of students and staff. Law enforcement personnel representing the Arkansas State Police, Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department, Arkansas Game & Fish, and the City of Ravenden, along with school officials, volunteer fire department members, emergency management personnel, and first responders were present to offer their services and expertise to establish a plan of action for effective campus security.

Mitch Walton, Superintendent of Sloan-Hendrix Schools, stated that a “Security Assessment Review Committee” composed of Creston Hutton, Steve Jones, Buddy Williams, Chris Jones, and Shawn Johnson will work with school administrators and staff to review the district’s crisis management plan, evaluate the school facilities’ evacuation plans, and make recommendations for improved campus security.

Jim Jones will work with school administrators to coordinate a plan to use active and retired law enforcement personnel to volunteer time for campus security. A plan will also be researched and developed that will provide an effective communication link between the school, police, and first responders in the event of a response to an emergency situation on the school campus.

The Sloan-Hendrix School District will work in coordination with Lawrence County Sheriff Jody Dotson to develop safety programs and to coordinate campus security drills. A new “lockdown” plan has been distributed to teachers and staff. A review of emergency procedures will be an ongoing process during the spring semester. Campus and facilities maps are being produced that will be used by law enforcement personnel and volunteer firemen. This will lead to an effort to bring emergency personnel on campus to become familiar with the location of school buildings, classrooms, and campus surroundings.

Sloan-Hendrix School administrators want to reassure parents and patrons that measures are being taken to maintain a safe environment for all students and staff. Mr. Walton wishes to thank all the men who were present at Friday’s meeting for their willingness to volunteer their time, training, and expertise to make the school campus as secure as possible for all students and staff. “Most of these men have children and/or grandchildren attending Sloan-Hendrix Schools and are vitally concerned that the campus remains a safe place for all children to receive an education.”