SD House Education Committee discuss bill that could arm teacher - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

South Dakota House Education Committee discusses bill that could arm teachers in the classroom

Posted: Updated:

Members of the South Dakota House Education Committee are talking about a bill that would allow school boards to arm teachers or other staff on school property. 

Today's discussion involved testimony from representatives, educators and other invested parties, some in support of the bill and others strongly against it. 

The bill was created as one possible solution to keeping students safe in the wake of recent tragedies.  However, some South Dakotans feel arming teachers, no matter how much training is involved, will not solve anything. 

"I grew up with guns and have used them many times and still use them today, but I still, I don't think I would be comfortable having one in my classroom," said Beresford Band Director Joel Shotwell. 

It's a sentiment many educators share, saying they are in a school to teach students, not to make life or death decisions. 

"I know they say you can train them but I still think there's such a difference between law military personnel or enforcement officers, that is what their trained to do...our people are trained to be educational leaders for students, they're not trained in carrying weapons and utilizing those weapons to take a life," said Beresford Superintendent Brian Field. 

Shotwell says when he's in his classroom, he's only thinking about teaching students. 

"If I'm worried about that, I don't think I can do a very good job," said Shotwell. 

The students we spoke with today said knowing a gun was in the classroom would also distract them from learning. 

"When students see like someone with a gun, even if we haven't had an incident like that, it gives them the fear looming over their head that, that could happen to us," said Beresford sophomore Tiffany Hoffman. 

These Beresford teachers and students say they would be more comfortable if their safety was left up to law enforcement of trained school resource officers. However, the sponsors and supporters of the bill say some rural South Dakota schools do not have immediate access to any law enforcement.

"I know there are some country schools and things that don't have the immediate access, they might not even have local law enforcement, they might rely on county sheriffs," said Field. 

While armed teachers might help in those situations, these students hope the state legislature will think very carefully about bringing guns into their school. 

"You can't just give the teachers a gun and say ok, here, now they're safe," said Beresford Sophomore Maddie Antonsen. 

"A gun is a very dangerous thing and I think you have to think a lot about it before you put it in a place where kids are daily," said Beresford Sophomore Bailey Nelson.

  • Red Door Church holds large Easter Egg Hunt, Saturday

    Red Door Church holds large Easter Egg Hunt, Saturday

    Red Door Church holds large Easter Egg Hunt, Saturday

    Saturday, April 19 2014 11:10 PM EDT2014-04-20 03:10:32 GMT
    Easter weekend is here and thousands in Sioux Falls were up early Saturday morning to celebrate it. More >>
    Easter weekend is here and thousands in Sioux Falls were up early Saturday morning to celebrate it. More >>
  • O'Gorman H.S. students to perform "Shrek, the Musical"

    O'Gorman H.S. students to perform "Shrek, the Musical"

    O'Gorman H.S. students to perform "Shrek, the Musical"

    Saturday, April 19 2014 11:05 PM EDT2014-04-20 03:05:11 GMT
    "Shrek" The Musical is coming to Sioux Falls by way of students at O'Gorman High School.More >>
    "Shrek" The Musical is coming to Sioux Falls by way of students at O'Gorman High School.More >>
  • Drivers frustrated with road construction

    Drivers frustrated with road construction

    Drivers frustrated with road construction

    Saturday, April 19 2014 9:20 PM EDT2014-04-20 01:20:42 GMT
    Road construction is in full swing in Sioux Falls. Another round of improvements are underway along Russell Street.More >>
    Road construction is in full swing in Sioux Falls. Another round of improvements are underway along Russell Street.More >>
  • After long wait, ranchers find relief from USDA

    After long wait, ranchers find relief from USDA

    After long wait, ranchers find relief from USDA

    Saturday, April 19 2014 4:32 PM EDT2014-04-19 20:32:04 GMT
    After a devastating blizzard killed thousands of cattle in October, South Dakota lawmaker and rancher Gary Cammack wondered whether his state's ranching community could recover.More >>
    After a devastating blizzard killed thousands of cattle in October, South Dakota lawmaker and rancher Gary Cammack wondered whether his state's ranching community could recover.More >>
  • Sioux Falls Storm tackles child abuse, Saturday night

    Sioux Falls Storm tackles child abuse, Saturday night

    Sioux Falls Storm tackles child abuse, Saturday night

    Saturday, April 19 2014 3:57 PM EDT2014-04-19 19:57:19 GMT
    April is National Child Abuse Prevention month and in honor of it, the Sioux Falls Storm plans to spread awareness at Saturday night's game against the Wyoming Calvary.The Storm is partnering with Children's Inn, Waterbury Heating and Cooling, Coleman and Fluxxr to raise awareness about Child Abuse.The event will seek to fulfill three main goals: to raise awareness, to encourage strong families in the Sioux Empire and to raise money for the Children's Inn.Children's Inn offers shelter, crisis...More >>
    April is National Child Abuse Prevention month and in honor of it, the Sioux Falls Storm plans to spread awareness at Saturday night's game against the Wyoming Calvary.The Storm is partnering with Children's Inn, Waterbury Heating and Cooling, Coleman and Fluxxr to raise awareness about Child Abuse.The event will seek to fulfill three main goals: to raise awareness, to encourage strong families in the Sioux Empire and to raise money for the Children's Inn.Children's Inn offers shelter, crisis...More >>
  • Vikings to add another $1.2M to stadium project

    Vikings to add another $1.2M to stadium project

    Vikings to add another $1.2M to stadium project

    Saturday, April 19 2014 3:41 PM EDT2014-04-19 19:41:21 GMT
    MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - The Minnesota Vikings are contributing another $1.2 million to the new stadium to put in a bigger video board on the facility's west end and for other video-related upgrades.The funding was approved Friday by the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority. It brings the total cost of the project from $975 million to $976.2 million.The team had initially agreed to contribute $477 million to the project. In November, the Vikings agreed to put up $26.4 million in contingency funds....More >>
    MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - The Minnesota Vikings are contributing another $1.2 million to the new stadium to put in a bigger video board on the facility's west end and for other video-related upgrades.The funding was approved Friday by the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority. It brings the total cost of the project from $975 million to $976.2 million.The team had initially agreed to contribute $477 million to the project. In November, the Vikings agreed to put up $26.4 million in contingency funds....More >>
  • SD lottery offers losing tickets a second chance

    SD lottery offers losing tickets a second chance

    SD lottery offers losing tickets a second chance

    Saturday, April 19 2014 2:57 PM EDT2014-04-19 18:57:20 GMT
    PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - The South Dakota Lottery has announced a second chance game for players with losing scratch-off tickets.The program, called Play it Again, will launch next Wednesday. Members of the Lottery Players Club can enter non-winning tickets in an online drawing.Lottery executive director Norm Lingle says other states have similar games and gamers have asked for it in South Dakota. Lingle says second chance opportunities extend the length and value of games.The first game in the pr...More >>
    PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - The South Dakota Lottery has announced a second chance game for players with losing scratch-off tickets.The program, called Play it Again, will launch next Wednesday. Members of the Lottery Players Club can enter non-winning tickets in an online drawing.Lottery executive director Norm Lingle says other states have similar games and gamers have asked for it in South Dakota. Lingle says second chance opportunities extend the length and value of games.The first game in the pr...More >>
  • Railroad group says $1 million pledged locally

    Railroad group says $1 million pledged locally

    Railroad group says $1 million pledged locally

    Saturday, April 19 2014 2:53 PM EDT2014-04-19 18:53:21 GMT
    PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - A South Dakota organization that helps raise money for railroad rehabilitation says more than $1 million has been committed locally to help match a federal grant for which the state is applying.Rails to the Future says the state is seeking $12.6 million in a Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant. The state wants to rehab the state-owned railroad from Chamberlain to Presho.The entire project is estimated to cost $29 million. Earlier this month...More >>
    PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - A South Dakota organization that helps raise money for railroad rehabilitation says more than $1 million has been committed locally to help match a federal grant for which the state is applying.Rails to the Future says the state is seeking $12.6 million in a Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant. The state wants to rehab the state-owned railroad from Chamberlain to Presho.The entire project is estimated to cost $29 million. Earlier this month...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.