WEST PLAINS, Mo. – Arming teachers at school is currently up for discussion across the nation.
Back here at home, Shield Solutions offers training programs for faculty members who want to be armed at school.
The initial training program is 40 hours, and you need an additional 24 hours of training after that to stay in the program.
The initial 40-hour training focuses on using their firearm in the field.
“We also cover tactical trauma care, we also cover the legalities of when you can shoot someone, or use legal force, and we also cover things like how to surrender to law enforcement,” Jason Long, a primary instructor with Shield Solutions, said.
Since its inception in 2013, Shield Solutions has trained around 15 schools.
Back then, training costs around $17,000 for two people.
It is now cheaper due to the increased number of participants.
There are two training ranges.
This range is designed to train people with moving shooters. The letters represent shields, and the numbers represent the position that the shooter is in.
“You see a whole bunch of numbers down there, but there are not 20 bad guys down there,” Long said. “What that simulates is the bad guys are moving, and he’s fluid.”
The other range trains participants what to do during a hostage situation.
“What we’re trying to do here is to get our people to slow down, and focus on that front side and be able to engage someone effectively if they’ve taken a hostage,” Long said.
Each participant needs to pass an evaluation with a score of 90 or above to get a certificate.
Schools that participate in this program say they believe their students are more protected now that they have armed faculty members.
“We’re outside of the normal city limits, so it’s going to take time to respond and where our teachers can respond,” David Hale, school board member at Ozarks Christian Academy, said.
“History tells us that when these events occur, they’re over in a very short amount of time,” Aaron Sydow, superintendent at Fairview School, said. “The absolute best response time that the sheriff’s department can get out here if they were sitting in their office and waiting for us was eight minutes.”
Every faculty member that carries a gun at school is anonymous. If somebody does find out that you have a gun, then you will be removed from the program.