South Dakota bill that would arm teachers advances

Author:
Updated:
Original:

A South Dakota Senate panel is considering a bill that would allow school districts to arm teachers and other school staffers with guns, the Associated Press reports.

The state's House has already approved the measure, the AP notes. The Senate State Affairs Committee scheduled a public hearing on the bill for Friday.

Similar proposals have been made in Minnesota. Rep. Tony Cornish, R-Good Thunder, has said he planned to introduce a bill that would allow the arming of teachers, although the legislation hasn't been officially introduced yet. "The cop can't be everywhere so the best person to defend yourself is yourself," he said.

The National Rifle Association has advocated arming teachers to better protect schools against armed intruders.

NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre said a trained armed security guard could have confronted gunman Adam Lanza during the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. "Will you at least admit it's possible that 26 innocent lives might have been spared?" LaPierre asked.

Gov. Mark Dayton has said arming teachers "defies common sense."

Liberal critics have said: "Are you nuts? Militarize schools?"

Critics include education groups. Two leading national teachers unions called the proposal "astounding and disturbing."

Next Up

Related

Bill in South Dakota would open state to 'fracking'

Some lawmakers in South Dakota want to show their support for hydraulic fracturing, a controversial process that uses water, sand and chemicals under high pressure to extract oil and gas from rock in the earth. The process has opened up new energy sources and driven down the cost of natural gas, but critics say it pollutes groundwater, and the EPA is studying it closely.

A bill to end teacher seniority headed to Gov. Mark Dayton

Senators approved the measure and sent it to the governor Saturday. The legislation would eliminate the "last-in, first-out" rule. Current law says schools can only consider teacher tenure when making layoff decisions. Dayton is expected to veto the bill.