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fairview school west plains missouri —- teachers concealed carry



Fairview School West Plains

Ibro Palic – Hayden/USA – Pixabay

Although I try not to be too political on this blog (the vast majority of the posts are health-related), I feel that this particular issue is bears discussion.  It is not the first time I have written about it.  Not long after the Sandy Hook Massacre took place, I suggested that highly trained teachers should be able to “Carry Concealed” while on the job.  In it I brought up what I considered (and still consider) to be valid points. 

Unless the specific area has plenty of armed security guards, the term Gun Free Zone is a moniker for ‘Do what you want to us — we are helpless to defend ourselves against armed attackers’. Instead of doing little more than spending lots of taxpayer dollars on security that can be easily breached by those who are even slightly familiar with the school; or running a few drills that include hiding students in coat closets and praying that armed assailants pass them by, let’s tackle this problem head on. How could we best accomplish this here in Missouri? For starters, lets get rid of our Gun Free Zones in Howell County. For those employees of this school district who are interested (Teachers / Custodians / Administrators / etc), provide extra training for those who have their CCL’s (Concealed Carry Licenses) —– and let them carry.

One of my good friends is Aaron Sydow, the principal at Fairview School in West Plains, Missouri.  I recently found out that Fairview School (right here in Howell County) has become the first public school in the state of Missouri to allow their trained employees to “Carry” while at work.  Below is the press release that was sent to area newspapers by the company that trained them — Shield Solutions, LLC.  I told Aaron to be ready because everyone from Geraldo to Oprah is going to want a piece of this story.   You are reading it here first.  I salute all of you who made this happen, from the school board, to those who took the grueling course, to those who trained them.  My hat is off to all of you!

For more information please contact Dan Wehmer of Shield Solutions at 417-331-2521.
WEST PLAINS, MISSOURI — Several employees of the Fairview R-XI School District, a K-8 public-school district in rural West Plains, graduated Friday, March 15, from the 40-hour School Employee Firearms Training Program administered by Shield Solutions LLC of West Plains.  Each of the district’s employees, whose identity remains confidential under the federal Safe Schools Act, now are able to carry concealed firearms while on the job for the protection of the school’s students, certified and non-certified staff.  In their capacity of protecting the children of the Fairview R-XI School District, the aforementioned school employees become Shield Solutions employees, with their actions in this vital task covered by the company’s liability insurance.

The training of the Fairview employees was done by Shield Solutions’ four-person team of Don Crowley, Fred Long, Jason Long and Rob Pilkington.  Jason Long and Pilkington are longtime employees of the Howell County Sheriff’s Department, Crowley is the police chief at Winona, while Fred Long is retired from the Missouri State Highway Patrol and is a longtime officer for the Howell County Sheriff’s Department. All four are U.S. military veterans. Each holds a vast array of certifications for firearms’ training on the regional, state and even national levels.

Prior to their training, the trainees underwent comprehensive background and drug testing, as well
as a psychological examination. Annually, to retain to ability to carry concealed firearms at the school, the employees must complete a 16-hour training course and must qualify with their firearms on a bi-annual basis, with all training and testing administered by the Shield Solutions training staff.

For many educators and school boards, there is a growing fear of how to react if an armed intruder enters their school campus. Many schools teach the long-taught “lockdown” method of reaction to such an event, which was the same tactic used by the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 14, 2012, when an armed intruder killed 20 children and six teachers. That method, as well as many others employed by public schools, is aimed at limiting casualties and deaths. There is no provision for eliminating a single loss of life. That’s what the School Employee Firearms Training program addresses … protecting children should an armed intruder enter their school campus, intent on harming defenseless students and teachers.

Funding for the training and the implementation of school policies to allow for the carrying of concealed firearms by trained Fairview R-XI School District employees was approved in a unanimous 7-0 vote by the district’s school board in February.


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