With a new grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences’ Institute for Digital Health and Innovation will be working to reduce violent crime in Arkansas schools.
The federal department awarded the institute a three-year, $749,968 grant.
The School Telemedicine in Arkansas for Lessons in Trauma-informed Education (STARLITE) program will focus on improving school security at three pilot sites in Arkansas, providing resources to students, teachers, administrators and parents to respond quickly to acts of violence and help prevent them.These pilot sites include the school districts of Jasper, Lamar and Magazine.
“The goal is to address specific areas of training: preventing violence and assessing the threat to determine how best to intervene,” Stanley Ellis, Ed.D., the project’s primary investigator, said in a statement. “School personnel and students will be educated on how to prevent violence against themselves and others, including anti-bullying training.”
As part of the program, school officials at the three school districts will be trained in responding to mental health crises and how to coordinate law enforcement responses to threats. Seed Digging Wellness Center, based in Harrison, will provided this training and support.