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Ozarks School District Allows Concealed Carry for Select Employees

West Plains, Mo. -- The school board for the Fairview R-XI District near West Plains, Missouri is letting select employees bring concealed weapons to school.

West Plains, Mo. -- The school board for the Fairview R-XI District near West Plains, Missouri is letting select employees bring concealed weapons to school.

The school employees carrying guns could be teachers, administrators, or others. Parents don't know who's armed. Now, some of those parents are raising transparency concerns.

In rural southern Missouri, guns are part of a culture.

"I grew up hunting on my grandfather's farm," says Richard Davidson, a father of a third grader in the district.

Now, Davidson has a family of his own and still owns firearms.

"It's not an issue of gun control or anything like that. It's an issue of transparency," Davidson says. "It's an issue how these people were selected. Maybe a discussion of what else was looked at and is my child safer because there are guns in the school or not."

The school board did not reach out to parents to get them involved in the decision to let guns into the school. However, it did hold public board meetings. In fact, Davidson says he didn't find out about it until he read the local paper and saw that it was already allowed.

"Dealing with an issue like this it should be more than just in a meeting," Davidson says. I think it should be, parent should be aware that this on the agenda.

Parent and school board president Brian Martin tells KOLR10 News the board isn't releasing the names of people cleared to carry or the number of employees who could be armed because of safety concerns.

"I think that at present time at Fairview it's a fairly diverse group," says Dan Wehmer, the executive vice president for Shield Solutions.

Shield Solutions is the company that trained those allowed to carry at fairview.

"If you are looking at an active shooter coming into your school's campus, I think they'd think twice knowing that there are people within that building who are carrying concealed firearms," says Wehmer. "Not only carrying concealed firearms, but they are extremely proficient in using those firearms."

The school board president says the district can pay for six to seven of its own employees to have guns for the cost of one school resource officer.

The district canceled classes for a snow day. That board president, Brian Martin, would not agree to an interview Friday. He told us he would talk next week and answered some of our questions over the phone.

Here's a look at the process for arming employees at Fairview.

Shield Solutions offers 40 hours of training. Most of that is firearms skills. The remaining four hours of training are legal and technical.

The employees of the school also become employees of Shield Solutions and are covered by its liability insurance.

Each person also has to have a background check, drug test, and psychological exam.

To stay certified, employees must take a 16-hour training course and bi-annual firearms qualification.

A private investigative company called GR. Martin and Associates is the parent company of Shield Solutions.

Several people with law enforcement backgrounds trained the school employees at Fairview.

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