COMMON SENSE PREVAILS AS FAIRVIEW SCHOOL DISTRICT GOES LIVE WITH THEIR CONCEALED CARRY PROGRAM
PUBLIC SCHOOL CONCEALED CARRY
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.