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South Dakota House Passes Bill To Arm School Teachers

Teachers to be armed

South Dakota’s House of Representatives approved a bill that would allow school districts to arm teachers and other employees with firearms on Tuesday.

The Republicans passed the measure 42-17, putting it in the Senate for debate there. Supporters of the bill say that the measure will make potential attackers second-guess attacking South Dakota schools, reports The AP.

Supporters also say that the measure is primarily useful in rural areas where police are not posted in schools. Arming teachers and personnel could provide a bulwark against potential shootings like last month’s massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut. Those who do not favor the bill argue that arming teachers would end up making schools more dangerous because it could lead to accidental shootings and because teachers are not trained to do anything but teach.

Rep. Scott Craig, the bill’s main sponsor, said that the measure only gives school boards the choice to train and arm teachers. Because schools are gun free zones, Craig argues that they are appealing targets for mass shooters.

“The possibility of an armed presence in any of our schools is a deterrent,” Craig said.

However, Rep. Ray Ring opposes the measure because he thinks it will lead to accidental shootings. He also said that reps for local school boards, school administrators, and teachers oppose the bill.

“Educators believe arming teachers and volunteers with minimal training will erode the learning environment without significantly improving security,” Ring said.

Fox reports that passage of the measure would require training for teachers wishing to carry a gun.

There is some middle-ground dissent to the bill. Republican Rep. Steve Hickey, while approving of the measure, said that it’s only a part of a larger issue which also involves improved security at school entrances and mental health counseling. Democratic Rep. Troy Heinert thinks the measure could send a bad message to kids.

“Doesn’t this bill blur the line between a teacher and a law enforcement officer?” Heinert said. “Do we want to tell our children the only way to be safe is to carry a gun?”

What do you think? Should schools train and arm teachers?

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9 Responses to “South Dakota House Passes Bill To Arm School Teachers”

  1. Arm Teachers Now

    The concept is that teachers would carry the firearm on their person, concealed, and have training. I would be willing to pay for my own training if given the opportunity!

  2. Richard Parker

    A gun in the hands of an educator is a sad irony. We teach our youth to resolve conflicts peacefully and to empower themselves with knowledge and critical thinking so they won't feel the need to walk around with a tool of violence. We are approaching this from the wrong end. Look at the UK; look at Canada — let's do what they do; it works for them.

  3. Nick Winebarger

    for crying out loud how is this bill going to tell the kids the only way to be safe is to carry a gun? The news does a good enough job of that already with all the shootings and armed robberies they broadcast that kids watch and read…. I think teachers who have been properly trained as well as the resource officers should carry guns on campuses. A teacher could be carring a.22 with rat shots and it would scare more would be assailants than a teacher holding a pair of scissors. I'm for the bill as long as the we have the right people training the teachers to use the guns like the NRA.

  4. Nathan Nieuwsma

    Then give the teachers more training. I'm sure the NRA or Oathkeepers would volunteer trainers and it wouldn't be forced on teachers. My wife is a kindergarten teacher and I know she would go love to take as much classes and training as needed to be able to carry. That doesn't mean that the other kindergarten teachers in her school have to do it.

  5. Richard Parker

    The NRA are the "right people"? The NRA are nothing but a fringe group of extremists who have twisted the second amendment to suit their own agenda. Gun control works. It works in the UK, in Canada, and anywhere else it is implemented. Statistically, the NRA's platitudes (e.g., "guns don't kill people") hold no water. The NRA is the root of the problems with gun violence in America.

  6. Nick Winebarger

    And wat stats do u have to back ur claim up in ths States alone evry state with stricter gun control has a higher gun crime rate. There is page after page of stats to support ur wrong. NRA is the problem? Sir u have no idea what ur talking about and its true guns dont kill its the peolle that hold the gun that makes that decision all these gun control laws obama is trying to implement is give criminals easier access to our stuff with no protection…

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