S.D. Legislature Passes Bill For Schools to Train and Arm Teachers

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The state House voted 40-19 to accept the Senate version of the bill, which will become law if signed by Gov. Dennis Daugaard. The governor has said he likes the concept of the measure but would decide whether to sign it after he sees details of the final version.

The measure's main sponsor, Rep. Scott Craig, R-Rapid City, said the Senate changes improved the bill by requiring that a school district must decide in a public meeting whether to arm teachers and others. Another Senate amendment will allow school district residents to push a school board's decision to a public vote.

Craig and other supporters said that while law officers are stationed in schools in some larger cities, many rural schools are far from any law enforcement agency. Those rural schools might want to train and arm teachers, other school personnel or volunteers who are retired law officers, they said.

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