SD's biggest school district responds to signed Sentinel Bill - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

SD's biggest school district responds to signed Sentinel Bill

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It's official. School districts now have the option to arm teachers and staff members with guns for protection of students and staff.

South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard signed the Sentinel Bill, Friday afternoon.

When the Sentinel Bill first came into play in the 2013 Legislative Session, leaders with the Sioux Falls School District say it was the initial position to oppose it.

"We only track real closely the bills we consider 'key bills' and this was never a key bill to us. It was something we thought probably wouldn't apply to us because of our relationship with Sioux Falls Police," SFSD Business Manager Todd Vik said.

That relationship includes 14 SRO's or School Resource Officers throughout the district. It's a program the district feels fortunate to have since 1996.

"There are 160 or so school districts in the state. We understand smaller ones don't have those resources available to them. This final version of the bill, if it's something they want to implement, it's probably a good idea," Vik said.

Vik says South Dakota is a big state and the bill would be much better-utilized in smaller, more rural districts.

"We want parents to know the safety of their children going to school, at school, on their way home, is of utmost importance to us and we're making sure that happens," Vik said.

The district has a Safe and Secure Schools Commission which includes district leaders and local law enforcement. It would before any new measures are implemented.

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