House Education delays bill allowing armed teachers in schools - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

House Education delays bill allowing armed teachers in schools

Posted: Updated:

South Dakota's House Education Committee has delayed decision on the bill granting school boards permission to allow faculty to be armed in schools.

The panel decided to continue discussion of House Bill 1087. The bill does not mandate schools to arm teachers-- or sentinels as described in the bill-- but it opens the door for faculty to carry weapons in classrooms. 

Many turned out to testify for and against HB1087, so discussion was limited to approximately 25 minutes for each side.

The bill was primarily proposed by Republican Representative Scott Craig of Rapid City. He compared the bill to arming air marshals on airplanes. He and other proponents said the bill is a deterrent to help prevent school shootings.

"We believe the passing of house bill 1087 presents this very same appearance of a hard target, because the possibility of an armed presence in any of our schools is a deterrent," Craig testified to the House Education Committee.

Republican Representative Betty Olson, of Prairie City, is also a sponsor of HB1087. She said allowing teachers to be armed is more necessary in rural areas where law enforcement cannot be reached immediately.

"Up where we are, we're a little more vulnerable because it's a long ways to any law enforcement," Olson said.

Meanwhile, opponents jabbed back that arming teacher will do the opposite of the bill's intention. Wade Pogany, Associated School Boards of South Dakota, said placing guns in the hands of teachers and other faculty will increase risk.

New Underwood Superintendent Jeff Marlette testified on his own behalf. Marlette explained how he is a veteran who owns many weapons including hunting guns and an AR-15, the gun that has become infamous because it was connected to the Newtown, CT shooting. Marlette said HB 1087 is not the right response to the Newtown shooting. He said it is not measured, realistic and balanced.

Marlette also urged caution of placing weapons in the hands of people who have never drawn on human beings.

"In a room full of children, in a hall full of children, what happens when that hits a fourth grader? Who cleared that person that's being safe to do it? Who said that local school board said that I or someone else is capable of carrying that weapon? Where was the background check, where was the psychological evaluation," Marlette asked. "I don't think any law enforcement—that I know of—get to go out into the street until they have had a battery of tests, different background things and extensive training."

Diana Miller, a lobbyist with a group representing the largest school districts in the state, charged that House Bill 1087 is only a single solution to complex issue. She testified that the focus shouldn't be on guns, but school boards should be focuses on things like mental health, fights in schools and bullying.

"We cannot make our schools an armed fortress. That is not the solution," Miller said.

Miller told the House Education Committee that local school boards should take a comprehensive approach and address security for their local needs. And in place of HB1087, Miller suggested legislators to participate with their local school boards to create a collaborative approach to enhance school safety.

House Bill 1087 will be discussed more on Friday.

Click here to listen to the full committee meeting provided by South Dakota Public Broadcasting. Scroll to about 49 minutes into the meeting.

  • De Smet community raises $450,000 in less than 24 hours

    De Smet community raises $450,000 in less than 24 hours

    Thursday, April 17 2014 12:07 AM EDT2014-04-17 04:07:12 GMT
    The community of De Smet has been raising funds for a new community wellness and events center for the past year. Last week, the town was till half a million dollars short and many people feared the projectMore >>
    People in De Smet came together to raise nearly half a million dollars to complete a new community center.
    More >>
  • National park visits will be more expensive this year

    National park visits will be more expensive this year

    Thursday, April 17 2014 12:01 AM EDT2014-04-17 04:01:04 GMT
    CUSTER, S.D. (AP) - Visitors will have to pay more to tour the two National Park Service caves in the Black Hills starting April 30.    The service on Wednesday announced fee increases for tours at JewelMore >>
    Park Superintendent Vidal Davila says the fees fund facility upgrades. He says the increases were discussed at public meetings.More >>
  • Wastewater lagoons bring bad odor to Brandon this spring

    Wastewater lagoons bring bad odor to Brandon this spring

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 11:48 PM EDT2014-04-17 03:48:46 GMT
    For the past two weeks, many people in Brandon have noticed a not-so-pleasant odor. The bad odor is coming from the city's waste water lagoons. The smell has been around since the lagoons were built inMore >>
    The bad odor is coming from the city's waste water lagoons. The smell has been around since the lagoons were built in the 1980s, but the city's recent growth has made the odor much more noticeable.More >>
  • STD rates spike in Minnesota

    STD rates spike in Minnesota

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 11:16 PM EDT2014-04-17 03:16:54 GMT
    ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - State health officials are concerned that Minnesotans aren't getting the message about safe sex and about testing and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases.    The MinnesotaMore >>
    Increases were much higher for some diseases, with syphilis up 64 percent and gonorrhea up 26 percent.More >>
  • Neighbors react to southwest Sioux Falls murder

    Neighbors react to southwest Sioux Falls murder

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 11:00 PM EDT2014-04-17 03:00:54 GMT
    Sioux falls has seen its second murder of 2014 and again, the victim is a woman in her 50's. It happened in a home on the 5600 block of Misty Glen Place  in southwest Sioux Falls. Neighbors were surprisedMore >>
    Sioux falls has seen its second murder of 2014 and again, the victim is a woman in her 50's.More >>
  • Keystone XL Pipeline remains a divisive issue

    Keystone XL Pipeline remains a divisive issue

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 10:53 PM EDT2014-04-17 02:53:07 GMT
    Former President Jimmy Carter joined a group of fellow Nobel Peace Laureates Wednesday in stating his opposition to TransCanda's Keystone XL Pipeline. If approved, it would carry oil from Canada, throughMore >>
    The potential environmental impact isn't the only issue pipeline opponents have raised. One widespread belief is it will have little to no domestic benefit. Howard says that is not true.More >>
  • New cane ball courts diversifying Huron

    New cane ball courts diversifying Huron

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 7:58 PM EDT2014-04-16 23:58:27 GMT
    Cane ball, a game similar to volleyball and soccer, is growing popular in the city of Huron, and a group of students are doing something about it. Middle schoolers, originally from Thailand and Burma,More >>
    Cane ball, a game similar to volleyball and soccer, is growing popular in the city of Huron, and a group of students are doing something about it. Middle schoolers, originally from Thailand and Burma, are so in love with the game, for their Destination Imagination (D.I.) project they petitioned to get some courts set up in town.More >>
  • Sioux Falls swimmers anticipate indoor aquatic center

    Sioux Falls swimmers anticipate indoor aquatic center

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 7:37 PM EDT2014-04-16 23:37:40 GMT
    Sioux Falls swimmers could see a new indoor pool open at Spellerberg park in the next two years.That's just east of the VA in central Sioux Falls.KSFY News spoke to people who love taking to the water.More >>
    Sioux Falls swimmers could see a new indoor pool open at Spellerberg park in the next two years.That's just east of the VA in central Sioux Falls.KSFY News spoke to people who love taking to the water.More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KSFY. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service or our EEO Report.