School & Church Staff with Guns: The Realities about Cost & Training

Arming and training teachers and school staff is an effort that is not taken lightly. The reality is that arming volunteer school staff can prevent school shootings.

It has become apparent that special door locks and security cameras are ineffective. In recent school active shooter confrontations, these safety measures have been shown to not prevent the shootings.

While training requirements vary in different states and districts, the training teachers are required to take is extensive and thorough.

When a school board decides to authorize staff to carry firearms, volunteers are requested. No district requires any school staffer carry a concealed firearm; it is always voluntary. But, once a school staffer volunteers and is vetted, they are provided with proper training. Safety is a critical aspect for anyone handling guns; it is especially true for school staff.

Districts that have armed staff require significant initial training, as well as ongoing continuous training.

One argument used by critics is how can schools be expected to afford this extensive training when school districts are already complaining of not being able to fund adequate supplies or extra curriculars?

Schools are already spending an enormous amount on school resource officers, specialized video systems and other high expense security measures. In comparison, training armed staff is a minor expense.

There are groups across the country like FASTERSavesLives in Ohio, FASTERColorado, and Bullets Both Ways in Colorado that raise private money or provide scholarships to help schools afford the very best in firearms and medical training.

Bullets Both Ways, for example, sponsors medical and firearms training for teachers and school staff and church security teams and is able to do this through merchandise sales. They provide scholarships for various training programs, including FASTERColorado. Their brand merchandise and apparel line was created as a resource not only to motivate and inspire others to Stand up, Represent, Prepare and Protect, but to generate revenue in order to contribute to the protection of schools and communities.

FASTERColorado, which stands for Faculty/Administrator Safety Training and Emergency Response, is able to offer the proper training at little to no cost to school employees. FASTER training enables teachers, administrators and other school employees to stop school violence quickly and administer medical aid immediately. FASTER trained teachers are not intended as a replacement for Police and EMTs. Instead, their training enables them to be on-site, immediate defenders, saving lives through prompt action.

Schools are realizing that they need to have an advance plan for how to protect lives until law enforcement arrives on the scene.  Because of this, the number of school staff that want to go through armed training programs has grown significantly.

“Even people who say, ‘We don’t want guns in our schools,’ well, when an event happens, you’re calling the police and you’re hoping they bring guns,” said Jim Irvine, president of the Buckeye Firearms Foundation, a pro-gun group that runs the Faster training in Ohio.

The value of a child’s life is beyond measure. There are individuals and organizations across the country that realize this and are making it a mission to provide excellent firearms and medical response training for school and church staff to be thoroughly prepared for active shooter scenarios. By just doing their part, organizations like FASTER and Bullets Both Ways are impacting their communities in an incredibly positive way.

By Amalia White