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When Eddie and Claire Speir founded Inspiration Academy 11 years ago, not arming teachers wasn’t even a consideration.

“It was because of Columbine. We were in a spiritual war – we still are – and some people were crazy. We knew it was our duty to protect our students. Columbine changed a lot of things for educators,” Speir told the Second Amendment Foundation Tuesday.

Speir and his wife retired and moved to Florida in 2013 after selling their Colorado-based software firm. “But God had other plans,” Speir said. The couple – with no formal background in education – launched Inspiration Academy, which began with just one paid employee.

Today, Speir has more than 200 students and dozens of teachers, coaches and other professionals. His staff is armed and dedicated to protecting their students.

“We, by God’s grace, look for and develop teachers with high character who would be honored and are prepared to give their lives for our students,” Speir said. “It’s shameful that every superintendent doesn’t feel the same way and develop a culture that reflects this attitude.”

The gun-ban industry has strong opinions about armed teachers, but they have no facts or data to support their arguments and certainly no actual experience. Speir has worked with an armed teaching staff for more than a decade, which makes him one of the country’s leading subject matter experts.

 

Inspiration Academy’s sprawling 30-acre campus, which is located in Manatee County, Florida, includes state-of-the-art classrooms and elite sports facilities. (Photo courtesy Inspiration Academy).

 Inspirational

Inspiration Academy is a private Christian school (grades 6-12 and post-graduate), which is “dedicated to fostering the joy of academic discovery, discipline in sports and mentorship, wrapped around a community of family, care and love.”

It accepts no federal dollars and Speir, 55, serves as the Academy’s superintendent.

“We reflect the community we are in. We have an eclectic blend of world-class athletes, scholars and at-risk students,” Speir said. “By God’s grace we’ve got some ridiculously talented baseball, softball and tennis players. We have five state records in powerlifting, and one American powerlifting record. We also have a large percentage of socioeconomically challenged and second-chance kids that we take risks on.”

Inspiration Academy student-athletes have been recruited by major D1 schools, including Florida State, Florida, Kentucky, Yale University, Seton Hall, Oklahoma State, West Point and more. Other graduates have enlisted in the military.

Inspiration Academy is incorporated as a 501(c)3 nonprofit, which made it easier for Speir to arm his staff.

Florida law recognizes the right of heads of schools to authorize armed personnel in support of school safety, said Jacksonville attorney, Eric Friday, one of the most experienced Second Amendment litigators in the state.

“For a private school, any government regulation of who can or cannot be armed on their property is a violation of their property rights,” Friday said.

Debunking propaganda

Speir grew up hunting in Montana with his father. His first handgun purchase was a Star 9mm, which he said, “jammed a bit.” Today he carries a Dan Wesson revolver.

Speir made quick work of Everytown for Gun Safety’s key findings, which the Bloomberg-funded group touts as proof teachers should not be armed. He also disproved similar arguments from other anti-rights groups.

  1. Students will access teachers’ guns.

“No. Absolutely not. This has never happened – not once – not even an attempt. This is just plain dumb,” Speir said.

  1. The risk of shootings increases.

“This argument is intellectually lazy, ignores all empirical evidence and just plays off people’s emotions and fears. It doesn’t make any sense. Evidence has shown that cities that have strict gun laws have the most crime. You have to look at the empirical evidence. What causes shootings is weakness. Reagan said we need to project strength. Our school is not a soft target, and we want everyone to know that. It’s criminals who cause shootings, not law-abiding citizens. People should be armed and equipped to fight against criminals,” Speir said.

  1. Arming teachers introduces new liability risks.

“(Laughter) In 11 years, the only problem I have ever had is people creating ridiculous scenarios based on some notion that guns are bad and therefore only the government should have guns,” Speir said. “It’s a ridiculous notion.”

  1. An armed teacher cannot, in a moment of extreme duress and confusion, be expected to transform into a specially trained law enforcement officer.

“I completely disagree,” Speir said. “Our teachers will protect our students. I reject this statement at face value.”

  1. An armed teacher is much more likely to shoot a student bystander or be shot by responding law enforcement than to be an effective solution to an active shooter in a school.

“I absolutely reject that. Anyone with any kind of awareness would want weapons in the hands of good people during a difficult situation,” Speir said. “When weak-minded people create in the public’s mind this notion – this Hollywood notion of an incompetent person with a gun – they endanger everyone. Even if it is an extremely scary and dangerous situation, good people will react appropriately, not firing indiscriminately as in some kind of Hollywood movie.”

  1. Armed staff wouldn’t have mattered at Uvalde.

“We all know that if teachers at Uvalde were armed, the death count would have been reduced,” Speir said. “It would have been a praiseworthy story about the hero. However, these kinds of praiseworthy stories are usually quashed because of the mindset that only the government can protect us. Logically and logistically, it’s stupid to rely on the government to protect us. Any honest sheriff would say the same thing. Any honest combat veteran would say the same thing.”

 

Eddie Speir is running for Congress. For more information go to eddiespeirforcongress.com.

This story is courtesy of the Second Amendment Foundation’s Investigative Journalism Project. Click here to make a tax-deductible donation to support pro-gun stories like this.

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46 COMMENTS

  1. “[The school] accepts no federal dollars …”

    This is the smartest thing they’ve done. That way, the Feds can’t tell them to indulge in the fantasies of the mentally ill h..om.o and tr..a.nn.y crowd.

    A Dan Wesson Revolver?? F*ing awesome.

    • “That way, the Feds can’t tell them to indulge in the fantasies of the mentally ill h..om.o and tr..a.nn.y crowd.”

      Familiar with “Heart of Atlanta Motel, Inc v US? USSC declared that because toothpicks at the hotel restaurant got there via interstate commerce, the hotel was required to follow federal non-discrimination laws.

      There is almost zero activity, public or private, that is not controlled via some US regulation/law. When it decides, government will find a way assert a federal crime. For instance, the much heralded federal Gun Free Zone law implicates private schools.

      If anything about a private school touches activity regulated by the feds, it is vulnerable to be forced to comply with federal law.

  2. Cool. My granddaughter just graduated from home school high school. Public school is the worst🙄

  3. You cannot change the minds of an emotionally control people with facts. Which is something democrats have understood for decades and the driving force behind liberalism/progressiveism. A society controlled by their emotions is much easier to manipulate and control than one that relies on it’s intellect to make decisions that effect their lives. Thus explaining the dumbing down of the education system and the push to promote how a child ‘Feelz’ about themselves, rather than their accomplishments.

  4. Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School reflects the community THEY are in.

    This whole thing about arming teachers is only a thing because of schools being gun free zones. Teachers are people too and as such becomes part of the human life present within the walls of these building. This is not and should not be about ‘arming teachers’. Stop disarming them! Because they are being disarmed. THAT is the issue at hand.Any human in these places that can legally carry firearms should be allowed to if they choose to. Now my personal experience in life is that far too many teachers are already a couple kegs short of a six pack. In a sane world, those people would get removed and no longer be a variable regardless. This is part of what makes unions such a bad thing here. Even without guns being there, our children are being taught hate and force fed lunacy. Which is so often what sets off many of these kids. The left ends up creating their own problems and we all pay the price for it.

    • “The left ends up creating their own problems and we all pay the price for it”. Well, said. And, very concise, too.

  5. On one side there is the scum of the earth that are hell bent on harming others and on the other side there are deranged Gun Control zealots who are hell bent on making sure you and yours are defenseless. Stands to reason if Gun Control zealots do not want firearms in the hands of teachers so teachers can protect themselves and their students it also stands to reason Gun Control zealots want in your home, in your vehicle and in your life. FJB…

  6. 1: Whoever was in charge of numbering the taking points, needs to be replaced.

    2: We are talking about an affluent private Christian school…so of curse a student has not tried to access (take) a teachers gun. However, I’m pretty sure that things would be different in an urban hell hole public school, full of degenerate gang-bangers and trustees of modern chemistry.

    3: All of the other point are perfectly valid….

    • There are numerous schools in the 34 states where teachers and admin are authorized to carry firearms. Not all are affluent or Christian. Yet not 1 report in the media about a student attempting to take a firearm away from a teacher of staff member. C’mon Jim enough of the emotional outbursts based on no evidence to support your conclusion. Thats what snowflake liberal/progressives do.

      • “Yet not 1 report in the media about a student attempting to take a firearm away from a teacher of staff member“

        Students gain access to teachers’ firearms, its just not reported on Fox ’News’:

        “Nonverbal boy finds loaded gun in teacher assistant’s bag in San Marcos classroom

        “I lost it when I found that out because I know my son. He could have easily hurt himself right there and then some,” the boy’s mother said.
        Author: Daranesha Herron (KVUE)
        Published: 11:00 PM CDT October 16, 2023
        Updated: 12:20 AM CDT October 17, 2023
        SAN MARCOS, Texas — An instructional assistant no longer works for San Marcos CISD after a 4-year-old found a gun in the assistant’s backpack.”
        .

        “Texas superintendent resigns after student finds his gun in school bathroom
        The incident comes as lawmakers debate how to make schools safer after the Uvalde massacre and favor measures like arming more educators.
        BY BRIAN LOPEZ
        FEB. 23, 2023
        12 PM CENTRAL
        The superintendent of a small school district in West Central Texas resigned this week after parents learned that his gun was found in a bathroom stall by a third grade student“
        .

        “Teacher accidentally fires gun and injures student during safety lesson
        By Nicole Chavez and Cheri Mossburg, CNN
        Updated 9:26 AM EDT, Thu March 15, 2018
        (CNN) A teacher accidentally discharged a firearm while teaching a public safety class, injuring one student at a Northern California school on Tuesday, police said.
        Dennis Alexander, who is Seaside City’s mayor pro tem and a reserve officer with the Sand City Police Department, was teaching a lesson at Seaside High School in Seaside when he pointed his gun into the ceiling and accidentally fired it, said Abdul Pridgen, the city’s police chief.“
        .

        “Police: Jacksonville High student steals gun from teacher
        January 17, 2012 at 11:35 a.m. | Updated January 17, 2012 at 3:24 p.m.
        by David Harten
        LITTLE ROCK — Police have released the name of the Jacksonville High School teacher who was involved in the Tuesday morning incident that got her and a student arrested.“

        • 1 incident that occurred over 20 years does not an epidemic make. Especially one that occurred before teachers were allowed to carry at school or properly trained on school carry. So climb back in your mommy’s basement and play your video games until she makes your breakfast. Because the mean Ol’ real world my well eat you alive if you venture out.

        • minor49iq…Kids do the darndest things like find the carkeys to the family sedan and go for a joy ride, find the booze dad keeps for entertainment, find the matches and burn down the house, etc. What’s super hard you dingbat is finding a kidnapped child because a parent, teacher or neighbor did not have the means to stop the abduction thanks to Gun Control, you know the deranged agenda History Confirms is Rooted in Racism and Genocide and should be Abolished like its sidekick Slavery…

        • There are videos all over YouTube of various kinds of firearm failures. This could be discussed all day long and never have anything to do with teachers, schools, or children specifically. It’s part of why training is important. Your examples just serves to prove why YouTube should promote firearm safety instead of trying to suppress it.

          A gun used for self protection is useless when it’s left in a backpack or bathroom.

    • “We are talking about an affluent private Christian school…”

      No it’s about middle class parents. Who are willing the sacrifice financially for their kids future.

  7. TTAG writer and liberal gun owner Elaine D agrees with Every town for gun safety. She believes teachers should not be armed.

    But she is very comfortable with armed secret service agents, protecting the children of the president.
    While his children are in school.

    • I thought Elaine D was sexy because she wanted me to think that.
      Then when she got us all sog on point she hit us with my uncle was a nieth vietnamese general just to see how far her lap dance avatar could carry her.

  8. While teaching elementary school students. I carried a beretta 21a. And sometimes carried the Henry AR7. And no one knew during the over two years that I did it.

    Anyone attacking the school while I was there, would get hot lead in his or her direction really fast.

  9. And to add to all the excellent points the good superintendent made; schools insist that when students are in their custody they assume the role of loco parentis and can determine a whole list of things that would usually be determined by the actual parents.

    If they want to assume parental rights they should understand that I and many if not most parents would lay down their lives for their children. Would these posers do the same? Some would, I have no doubt. But for the ones that wouldn’t…maybe they should think about what that means.

  10. “”””An armed teacher cannot, in a moment of extreme duress and confusion, be expected to transform into a specially trained law enforcement officer.””””

    the COWARDS of broward FL and Uvalde texas PROVED FOREVER that cops will stand by while kids die only yards away while UNARMED and UNARMORED and UNTRAINED teachers and parents were being arrested trying to go in for rescues!

    • It was to protect the parents. If the parents would have got shot they couldn’t have had anymore babies. Sometimes sacrifices have to be made.

    • “An armed teacher cannot, in a moment of extreme duress and confusion, be expected to transform into a specially trained law enforcement officer.”

      In every major incident I have read, the casualties include UNARMED teachers, who in a moment of extreme duress, turned into futile kamikazes who died trying…

      Armed resistance reduces casualties.

  11. Okay class, the first kid that straws a spitball gets double tapped.
    Now open your Gideon’s bible to page 1.

    • Haven’t seen nor heard much of Mark Kelly’s diapered, drooling, stammering ventriloquist dummy lately … I thought she was in for a long-term overhaul having her strings/springs replaced and her hinges cleaned and lubed.

  12. Just as I predicted – Hunter Bidens defense team is trying to use the Jedi “These are not the droids you are looking for” mind trick.

    They are claiming basically that Hunter didn’t ‘think’ of himself as an “addict” when he bought the gun and so did not lie on the 4473.

    • Fck the 4473 form.
      The only way that, Are you a user of or addicted too, could stick is if the giverment made you take a drug screening not less then two hours upon your purchase.
      3 DUI’s is a felony , so theres that.
      User of,, purchasing legal marijuana in the states that have it could get you caught up in a user of. Them dispensaries keep track of everything.
      I think it’s a set up for later on.
      I wonder how the system is going to let Hunter off the hook and continue to fck everybody else. I suppose double standards when your the prez’es son is the key.
      We the People and then Them. Them don’t have to worry about breaking the law.
      Hello BATFE, you know all about breaking the law and facing no repercussions, don’t cha.

  13. “An armed teacher cannot, in a moment of extreme duress and confusion, be expected to transform into a specially trained law enforcement officer.”

    No one is expecting them to “transform into a specially trained law enforcement officer.”. This is just more BS from anti-gun people.

    One does not need to “transform into a specially trained law enforcement officer” when that mentally ill killer is right in front of them. At the basics, all a person needs is the chance and means to exercise that chance to stop that imminent threat before it stops them.

    Annually, millions of people who are not “a specially trained law enforcement officer” use a firearm to stop an imminent threat of death or serious injury to themselves or others at the hands of violent criminals. They are not “specially trained law enforcement” nor did they need to be.

    All this special emotional terminology used like ‘school shooter’ tend to amplify the mentally ill killer as being something ‘special’. A ‘school shooter’ is nothing more than another mentally ill violent criminal and people defend them selves using a firearm against these many times every year without being “specially trained law enforcement”. But suddenly, if you call them a ‘school shooter’ ya need “specially trained law enforcement” to arrive to deal with it after the death and serious injury has happened or started.

    We trust a school with our children but suddenly the people there that we trust our kids with aren’t responsible enough to defend them selves or the kids when that imminent threat is right there and people want to make sure these do not have a firearm to at least have a chance because these are special some way or another because they are called ‘teacher’?

    Seriously? How stupid do you need to be to actually buy into that logic.

    The truth is this: Its a pretty good bet there will not be “specially trained law enforcement officer” there to defend these kids or even that teacher when that imminent threat is right there in front of them. And you “don’t arm teachers” idiots apparently just want that teacher and those kids to die when that imminent threat is right there in front of them.

    Are you “don’t arm teachers” idiots out of your friggin minds? You presume to speak for everyone, you don’t. How dare you assume you can decide if a person can defend them self or defend those in their care – then all you give is this stupid insane “An armed teacher cannot, in a moment of extreme duress and confusion, be expected to transform into a specially trained law enforcement officer” excuse for your BS?

    Teachers/school staff need to be armed with firearms, plain and simple. No one forces them to be, its voluntary. But you “don’t arm teachers” idiots need to get out of the way and STFU, you don’t speak for everyone like you think you do and when that imminent threat is right there and that teacher had no chance at all because you kept them disarmed with your ignorant BS then their blood and the blood of those kids is on your hands and you need to burn in hell for doing what you did to remove the best chance of a firearm defense that teacher had to defend those kids and their self.

    In school shootings there has never been one dead or seriously injured victim that was saved from that death or serious injury by any “law enforcement officer” specially trained or not. 99.9% of these types of victims in school shootings had means of a firearm to stop that imminent threat when they died or were seriously injured while hoping to be saved from that by a supposedly “specially trained law enforcement officer” who did not arrive until after that death or serious injury took place.

    • Correction for : “99.9% of these types of victims in school shootings had means of a firearm to stop that imminent threat when they died or were seriously injured while hoping to be saved from that by a supposedly “specially trained law enforcement officer” who did not arrive until after that death or serious injury took place”

      should have been…

      99.9% of these types of victims in school shootings did not have means of a firearm to stop that imminent threat when they died or were seriously injured while hoping to be saved from that by a supposedly “specially trained law enforcement officer” who did not arrive until after that death or serious injury took place

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