In 2014, the Missouri legislature approved Senate Bill 613, also known as the “Second Amendment Preservation Act,” which allows teachers to carry concealed guns.
Missouri is one state that allows teachers and school staff to be armed and serve as protection officers as long as they complete basic training.
“This act allows a school district to designate one or more school teachers or administrators as a school protection officer. School protection officers are authorized to carry a concealed firearm or self-defense spray device,” the law states.
“The officer must keep the firearm or device under his or her personal control at all times while on school property.”
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According to KMOV, two St. Louis area school districts decided to train teachers and other district employees with firearms.
A lot of talk after the #Uvalde school shooting about keeping schools safe. The Sunrise R-9 School District in #Jeffco was the 1st in the area to train & arm school personnel 5 years ago. St. Clair R-13 School District in Franklin Co. made the decision 3 years ago. @KMOV pic.twitter.com/zH0KtPkGsG
— Russell Kinsaul (@russellkinsaul) May 25, 2022
The Sunrise R-9 School District in southern Jefferson County was the first in the St. Louis region to choose to equip teachers and other district employees with firearms. Armand Spurgin said the district has trained and armed employees for 5 years.
“We knew that we had to do something to mitigate our risk being in a small rural school,” he said.
Sunrise School is a K-through-8 school in the Valle Mines area. Spurgin said he was told it could take 20 to 30 minutes for a deputy to arrive if there was a school shooting.
He said teachers and other employees who volunteer for the program receive 40 hours of training initially and 24 hours of retraining each year. And that’s only if they can pass the screening to be accepted.
“There’s a lot that goes into this, to make sure that you’re you’re a safe individual and your individual can psychologically handle it,” said Spurgin.
Shield Solutions, LLC out of West Plains, Missouri provides the training for the district. The same company also trains employees in the St. Clair R-XII school district in Franklin County.
St. Clair R-XII Superintendent Dr. Kyle Kruse said there haven’t been any incidents to make use of the firearms training his employees have received. But he said the interest in the program hasn’t waned.
“We have not had difficulties finding people willing to participate,” he said.
Kruse said his employees also receive extensive training, but that arming school employees is just one of their layers of security.
“We’ve upgraded the entrances at all of our buildings, and now there are secure vestibules where visitors can come in and they’re not able to access student areas without being buzzed on through. We have safety films on those glass areas and they’re not easy to get through,” he said.
Kruse said the high school continues to have a school resource officer, but that the district also hired a director of security.