South Dakota House members passed the bill allowing teachers to be armed in schools. The so-called School Sentinels Bill allows school boards to implement a plan to arm teachers, but it does not mandate a teacher to be armed.
Proponents said the measure is a deterrent, so they compared it to having an armed sky marshal on airplanes.
HB1087 sponsor Republican Representative Scott Craig, of Rapid City, said he wishes he didn't have to propose this bill, but he said it needed to be done.
"So it is incumbent upon us to do something and do something now especially because of what we do know regarding potential threats that would face our schools in the days to come," Craig said.
However, opponents say teachers aren't trained to pull a gun on human beings.
"As a classroom teacher I would not for a moment or a heartbeat hesitate to throw myself in front of a bad guy with a gun. However, I would hesitate if I were expected to draw a gun and point it at that person," Democrat Representative Paula Hawks, of Hartford, said to House members.
Democrat Representative Troy Heinert, of Mission, said we should be considering something other than arming teachers. Heinert said, if we truly care about the safety of our children then they should fund the proper School Resource Officer programs; which he said are already working in many schools across the state.
Much of the debate's discussion was centered on amendments proposed by House members of the Democratic Party. Many of the proposed amendments added an appropriation to help school districts fund training for teachers to carry hand guns. However, republican House members were quick to pounce on the tactic.
House Majority Leader David Lust, of Rapid City, claimed democrats were attempting to weigh the bill down, because any bill with an appropriation attached to it needs two-thirds support from legislators.
The measure was amended last week in the House Education Committee and Tuesday on the House floor. Now, the local law enforcement that has jurisdiction in the school district has the final say of a school board's school sentinel policy. This gives a city's police chief final approval of a school board's plan and leaves the sheriff's approval for more rural school districts.
The School Sentinel Bill was passed by a vote of 42-27. It heads next to a Senate committee.
Tuesday, December 3 2013 10:48 PM EST2013-12-04 03:48:06 GMT
Canton residents have voted down a proposal to build a new aquatic center. The city required 60% of voters to approve the bond to pass; only 50.9 voted yes. Canton financial officer Kyle Cwach said 412 votedMore >>
Canton residents have voted down a proposal to build a new aquatic center.More >>
Tuesday, December 10 2013 4:31 PM EST2013-12-10 21:31:13 GMT
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is forecasting a 14 percent drop in dry edible bean production in South Dakota for 2013. The South Dakota office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service isMore >>
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Tuesday, December 10 2013 4:14 PM EST2013-12-10 21:14:43 GMT
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An Ohio police department shared a child's adorable apology while also reminding residents about a serious issue.More >>
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AP -- A 6-year-old boy has been suspended from a Colorado school for kissing a girl on the cheek. School officials in Canon City are accusing the boy of sexual harassment and they want it on his schoolMore >>
A 6-year-old boy has been suspended from a Colorado school for kissing a girl on the cheek.More >>
Tuesday, December 10 2013 3:31 PM EST2013-12-10 20:31:44 GMT
PIERRE -- A state lawmaker who previously supported the death penalty says he will ask the 2014 South Dakota Legislature to repeal capital punishment. Rep. Steve Hickey of Sioux Falls, who also is aMore >>
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Tuesday, December 10 2013 1:48 PM EST2013-12-10 18:48:44 GMT
WASHINGTON -- Majority Leader Harry Reid says the Senate will not extend current farm law if Congress can't agree on a new farm bill before adjourning next week. House leaders have reserved space onMore >>
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Tuesday, December 10 2013 1:43 PM EST2013-12-10 18:43:53 GMT
PIERRE -- A South Dakota National Guard unit that spent four months in Afghanistan is back on American soil. The 68 members of the Pierre-based 152nd Combat Sustainment Support Battalion landed at FortMore >>
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Tuesday, December 10 2013 12:08 PM EST2013-12-10 17:08:34 GMT
Tailer James Handsacker
A Spirit Lake man facing murder charges is held on a $500,000 bond in a Dickinson County Jail. The Dickinson County Sheriff's Office responded to a rural Spirit Lake address at 10:25 p.m. Sunday for reportsMore >>
A Spirit Lake man facing murder charges is held on a $500,000 bond in a Dickinson County Jail.More >>