Buchanan County deputy Sarah Hardin is the school resource officer in the Mid-Buchanan R-V School District. Lawmakers have voted to override Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto of legislation that creates a training program for teachers to carry guns in schools.

Missouri teachers will soon have the right — if they want it — to carry guns into the classroom.

Lawmakers voted last week to override Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto of legislation that creates a training program for teachers to carry guns in schools.

Following the vote, district officials and leaders in law enforcement touted the new law as another tool to prevent a school in St. Joseph from becoming the next Sandy Hook.

However, those who walk the halls every day remain skeptical about enlisting teachers in the fight against school shooters.

Todd Brockett teaches at Robidoux Middle School and leads St. Joseph’s chapter of the National Education Association.

Mr. Brockett said that while he does not oppose the new law, he has questions about how it would work. He said teachers needed more information about the training that would be made available, how armed teachers should react in the case of an emergency, and if teachers would be expected to carry their firearms at all times or store them in a central location, among other topics.

“We just passed a law and now we need to get some clarification,” Mr. Brockett said. “I know the public is desperate to get some kind of quick way of doing this and it’s difficult for law enforcement because they don’t have the resources to put someone in every room, but we need some clarification. Our training was for education, not law enforcement.”

Sarah Hardin shares Mr. Brockett’s concerns about training.

Ms. Hardin works as a deputy for the Buchanan County Sheriff’s Department, for which she serves as the school resource officer in the Mid-Buchanan R-V School District.

She said that while she had not had a chance to review the specifics of the new law, her initial concerns would focus on the level of training required for teachers. For example, she said the basic training required to obtain a permit to carry a concealed weapon was insufficient to prepare someone to deal with an active shooter situation.

The scenario could be tougher in small communities where teachers may have had multiple generations of the same family in class. Ms. Hardin mentioned a potential scenario where a teacher could be faced with an armed student whose parents they know well. Law enforcement officers are trained to detach themselves from the situation and respond with the appropriate level of force, but a teacher without such crisis training might hesitate.

The idea of teachers carrying guns could also complicate matters when law enforcement arrives on the scene. If the shooter is an adult, law enforcement could have trouble distinguishing a protective teacher from a dangerous shooter.

“Conceal and carry is great when you’re defending yourself, but when law enforcement arrives and they have to figure out who is the shooter and who is defending themselves, it becomes more difficult,” Ms. Hardin said. “In that situation, I’m asking everyone to get on the ground and drop their guns. If someone doesn’t comply or turns their gun toward me, I have to respond.”

Ms. Hardin and Mr. Brockett agree that the very idea of teachers carrying guns could deter people from attempting a shooting in the first place.

“If (a shooter) is afraid of having someone there with a gun, it might make them think twice,” Mr. Brockett said. “It’s a concentrated, easy target, so you want to do something, but they need to put some more thought into this.”

Ms. Hardin suggested that if school districts wanted to train employees to carry a gun in case of emergency, janitors could be a better candidate than teachers. Most shooters have historically focused on students, teachers and school administration as targets, which means a janitor might fly under the shooter’s radar in such a situation.

“I agree with people looking into ways of making the response faster and reducing the loss of life, but I don’t know if the teacher is the best person to have the gun,” Ms. Hardin said.

Clinton Thomas can be reached

at clinton.thomas@newspressnow.com.

Follow him on Twitter: @SJNPThomas.

(23) comments


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If was was in a school shooting situation, I'd rather take my chances with a possible mishap by a liscenced conceal and carry holder who means well, than huddle scared under a desk while some punk wacked out on school-recommended Ritalin & selective Seratonin Uptake Inhibitors recreates his latest "Call of Duty" Playstation episode with live victims while the Police are en route to surround and cordon off the building with the tank from Afghanistan. I'm not knocking the cops who do a dangerous job. Minutes do mean lives though, and America was never intended to be a Police State, where we expect Big Brother to handle everything. The Right to Life, Liberty & Property means the right to defend it from those who try to take it from us. The cops will tell you, one of the first things they check is the nut job's medicine cabinet for SSRI's, but nobody's trying to ban them because they are invested in politicians & the media's #1 advertisement customer...


There are a lot of logical mistakes being made by people on this issue.

For starters, it was already legal for teachers to be armed in schools. Before this law, the school district could approve any teacher with a concealed carry license to carry on school grounds. After this law, the teacher has to have special training, permission, and gets registered as an active School Protection Officer. This law is safer than it previously was. Saying this law allows guns in schools is really not true, it regulates the guns in schools more than was done so before.

Second, nothing forces teachers to carry a gun. Teachers are trained to teach. If a teacher receives the appropriate training, they are trained to use a firearm defensively as well. The argument about teachers not having the right training assumes that they do not receive said training. This law specifically requires that training before the teacher is allowed to carry a gun. It may not be great training, we don't know. I doubt it will be any worse than the laughable police training though.

Third, they aren't worried that each kid is a potential threat. They're worried that a threat may occur at the school. It may be a kid, it may be an adult. Sure there is a chance that accidents could happen, but what is the risk run by not having schools armed? We already know that one. The risk of not having schools armed is that a man will have time to massacred dozens of people before the police arrive.

As for the danger of law enforcement attacking the wrong person, why do we place that issue on this law? Shouldn't we place that issue on law enforcement? I think we should be able to expect them to keep it together, pay attention, and evaluate the situation before they shoot someone. After all, that's what we expect from people that have a concealed carry license.



Spot on.


Oh God, it’s really horrifying when something like this happens. It’s like they see each kid as a potential threat, no wonder some of the actually grow up into criminals. I've got goose bumps just thinking about it. I’d rather let my kids study at home for a while. My friend already recommended me a home tuition service (you can check out this site if your kid needs it too). Honestly, I would do anything to keep my kids away from danger. Anyway, thank you for keeping us informed, keep up the good job.


MIOBSCENE, perhaps you should move to Columbine, Sandy Hook, or any of the many, many places where folks were so worried about hurting themselves that they allowed their politicians to take away their ability to prevent others from hurting themselves...


Teachers carrying guns in class:

Not a good idea.
In any particular school; there is much more of a change of an accident with the gun, losing the gun, a delusional kid making up a story about the teacher with the gun, the teacher himself going nuts, etc; then there is of a terrorist attack.

As JDW said: "Teachers are trained to teach"; not to make split-second decisions about who or when to shoot someone. "Leave gun carrying to the pros" who are trained for it.

In schools where teachers are allowed to carry weapons there have been zero shootings either by outsiders or teachers. That alone speaks volumes.


So those who are trained to make split-second decisions always make the right ones? I'm interested to see your thoughts on the Michael Brown situation. Or Trayvon Martin. Or Rodney King. Or (insert one of the number of major divisive discussions on if officers made proper split-second decisions on the use of their powers). People who have gone through concealed carry & gun safety training aren't inherently less or more qualified to make split second decisions because of their profession. There may be a little more instruction on how you SHOULD handle split-second decisions if you're an officer, but at the end of the day, they're just as prone to mistakes or improper judgement as anyone else. It's about your personality and how you perform and react under pressure.


Switzerland has the right to carry and their crime rate is near non-existant. Chicago, England and Australia have seen a marked increase in violent crime since banning their honest citizens from being able to carry for self-protection.

With the right to self-defend comes a huge responsibility though. People should be trained in safe practices with weapons and held liable for non-compliance to those safe practices.

Israel doesn't negotiate with terrorists. They took losses at first, but nobody hijacks Israeli airlines anymore, because they know how it will end for them.

No-gun zones are like signs saying "Come here- We're Unprotected..."


Looks like the Deputy's views and the Sheriff's are different

Perhaps she should have gotten with him or her supervisors before she ran her mouth off....? Hmmm.....



Slim Shady

This deputy is the sherriff's pet she can do no wrong.


We shall see...


The gun carrying stuff in this country is reaching the point of insane.


If your the bad guy.


I believe a better plan would be the school budget a armed security officer ( off duty deputy or police officer). To be in the building during school time. Arming teachers is a bad idea. Their training is to teach. Not provide police duties. Leave the school security to people trained in this field.


I agree.


A janitor is like a roll of toilet paper sitting on the shelve in the closet. Not much good when you really need it. And a gun in storage. Hang on mister shooter while I go and get my gun. Not much good either. If you are comfy and trained with a gun, fine. If not, then no requirement to carry. Don't make this to complicated.


I have known some pretty unstable teachers in my time. I'm pretty sure most of us can say the same. Wonder which of our local "wise lawmakers" voted to override the governor's veto on this. Also wondering what percentage of teachers does Mr Brockett represent. The NP sure does go to him every time there is a story about schools.

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