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South Dakota: Bill Allowing Armed School Security Sent to Governor

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

A bill authorizing local school boards to allow teachers, staff or volunteers to be armed has cleared the state legislature and is headed to Governor Dennis Daugaard (R).  House Bill 1087, introduced by state Representative Scott Craig (R-33) and cosponsored by more than 25 other legislators, passed in the state House by a 42-to 27 vote.  The state Senate approved an amended version of HB 1087 by a 21 to 14 vote, and the House concurred with the Senate amendments by a 40-19 vote.

HB 1087 would leave decisions regarding armed school security to the discretion of local school boards.  Under this bill, each school board, if it deems necessary and appropriate, would be allowed to arm school employees, hire security guards, or utilize volunteers to protect against violent attacks.  Any school board that allows armed security in schools would have to inform local law enforcement and coordinate with them appropriately.

This bill provides a great amount of flexibility based on the security needs of individual school districts.   HB 1087 removes the barriers on localities and enables them to enhance school security.  Rather than a "one size fits all" mandate, HB 1087 would empower school districts to decide for themselves the best way to protect their children.  For example, some school districts in urban areas already have local police resource officers in their schools and would not require any additional security.  If enacted into law, this bill would provide additional options and tools to school districts looking to provide additional security to our schoolchildren.

Please call and e-mail Governor Daugaard and respectfully urge him to sign House Bill 1087 into law.

Phone: 605.773.3212                                                     Email

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