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FOLLOW UP: School Sends Letters to Parents Explaining Gun Policy

WEST PLAINS, Mo. -- KOLR10 News first told you about this story last week and heard from parents upset over the decision.

WEST PLAINS, Mo. -- Some employees at an Ozarks elementary school are carrying concealed guns.

KOLR10 News first told you about this story last week and heard from parents upset over the decision.

The Fairview R-XI School District is near West Plains. The school board decided to let certain administrators and teachers arm themselves with guns.

Monday was the second day some staff members carried conceals guns in the school and there is mixed reaction. So the school sent a letter (see attachment below) home with students to provide answers to the most frequently asked questions from concerned parents.

"After the shooting in Connecticut, we had a huge parental outcry to do something to be proactive," says Brian Martin, School Board President. "We had a lot of parents that wanted us to do a concealed carry for all teachers."

Martin said members began looking at ways to better secure the school, including a school resource officer. But with limited funding, they found the best way to make safety improvements is to allow certain members of the faculty to carry concealed guns.

"We had more volunteers than we could afford to send through and the interest among our faculty was huge," adds Marin.

Martin said the volunteers who were picked went through extensive criminal back checks, psychological exams, and intense firearms training over spring break. Last week they started carrying the concealed guns in the school.

"I think it's probably one of the safest schools just knowing that there are good people here with guns," says parent Shaun Duggins. "I think that's the biggest point is the deterrent factor."

Duggins has two children at Fairview school. He says he feels his children are safer today because of the board's decision.

"I believe the school board is charged with that job and that's why we have a school board. I don't feel that way at all. I feel they had the best interest in the heart of the children and of the school. It's my opinion they lead the way in taking charge here. We needed to do something for safety and stepping back and waiting for something to happen is not the way to do it."

Some parents were angry with the decision saying the Board made it behind closed doors. The Board argues that saying the discussions were made very public in local newspapers and during open school board meetings.

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