A select group of teachers at the 600-student Fairview School in Fairview, MO, have been trained to carry — and, if necessary, use — guns during school hours. The announcement appeared in the local newspaper last month, and although it took parents by surprise, the reaction has been largely positive. The teachers, who have not been named, took a 40-hour training course, and all agreed to annual recertification, background checks, mental evaluations, and drug tests. This took place after the school board checked with their insurance provider about liability coverage.
What’s the Big Idea?
While schools around the country have been reevaluating their security procedures after December’s massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, very few have taken the step of arming teachers. However, guns are already a part of the culture in Fairview, which is located in the Ozarks. Many residents learned to shoot and handle guns as children, and hunting deer and turkey is a popular pastime. One reason given for arming teachers was the length of time it would take for authorities to reach the school in the event of an emergency. A principal at another local school says it would take even longer for authorities to reach them, but they’re not ready to give teachers guns just yet.