Fair Grove to Arm All Teachers in the Fall of 2019


This initiative follows Pleasant Hope, who armed all of their teachers with shotguns.

Sarah Bethurem

Fair Grove superintendent, Mike Bell, has made the decision to require all of the Fair Grove teachers in the elementary, middle school, and high school to carry a firearm.

According to Business Insider, an American financial and business news website, there have been more than 307 shootings in United States just in 2018 alone. It is quite evident that the world, including our nation, is traveling down a darker path, making it more dangerous for our school’s students to receive an education, as well as making it more dangerous for our teachers to do their jobs.

The decision may seem rather abrupt, yet the idea has been considered for quite some time now. Back in September 2018, around the 17 anniversary of the September 11th Attacks, Greg Porter, the school’s resource officer, stressed his concerns in regards to school safety to Mike Bell. Greg Porter stated, “I think our school here at Fair Grove has been taking necessary, but appropriate actions in order to protect our students to the best of our ability. This past year, we installed new security systems at all of our doors, yet I believe further precautions need to be in place.”

In the past, Fair Grove has put on mock school shootings, where Bill Voorhis, head football coach, runs around the school with a Nerf gun, and tries to shoot as many students and teachers as possible. The teachers are supposed to barricade their classrooms while attempting to protect all of their students, yet many teachers were proven to be unsuccessful. The school feels as if we had guns, the teachers would be better prepared if something like a school shooting were to happen. Over the summer, before the teachers are able to acquire one of the guns, they will be required to complete a couple of mandatory classes through the Springfield Police Department; they will also be required to go a gun range at least once every two months.

The firearm that the teachers will carry is some sort of manual handgun; the gun will not be fully automatic, and it will not have large caliber bullets. The guns are intended to be used for a last resort type of protection, not for offensive purposes. The school is cutting back on some of the funding for other programs in order to pay for the guns due to the fact that the average cost for the handgun is $549.87; this average does not include the bullets or the child safety locks.  

Additionally, after polling the high school students, an average of 68.4333 percent of the students agreed that having our teachers have access to a gun in case of an emergency situation was a fairly good idea. Although there are still a couple of concerns floating around, the school is trying its best resolve as many of them as possible.