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SCHOOL “SENTINEL” PROGRAM TO TRAIN PERSONNEL FOR EMERGENCIES
by Sharon Rondeau
(Mar. 8, 2013) — The state of South Dakota is the first state to pass a law allowing teachers to carry firearms in schools since the attack at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT. Governor Dennis Daugaard signed the bill on Friday.
Unlike other states such as Utah which allow teachers to be armed in schools, the new South Dakota law specifies that “a sentinel” can be approved by local police departments, trained, and placed in any school system requesting it.
The National Rifle Association (NRA) had advocated for the law in the South Dakota legislature and touted its “flexibility.” Opponents such as school administrators and teachers’ associations reportedly did not believe that an armed sentinel would make schools safer and wanted more time to review various options. However, the new bill will not force anyone to carry a firearm against his or her will.
A poll done in South Carolina showed that two-thirds of adults want armed guards in schools but do not favor teachers doubling as security guards. Putative Vice President Joe Biden has stated that armed guards are “an option” in schools and has admitted that he owns and carries guns despite the Obama regime’s desire to ban assault weapons and restrict access to high-capacity ammunition clips. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D) of California indicated that schools should be able to obtain federal funds for a “community policing presence.”
A similar poll in Virginia indicates strong support of armed school officers. A bill to allow armed resource officers in Pennsylvania schools was introduced in the Commonwealth’s legislature on Thursday.
Unlike the rest of the country, South Dakota has experienced a burgeoning economy during the last dozen years and “ranks 12th of the 50 states.” South Dakota also moved from 35th in disposable per-capita income in 2000 to tenth in 2011. Its culture includes teaching children to hunt and use guns safely before reaching their teen years.
The state of Georgia is considering a bill which would allow legal gun owners to take a firearm into some buildings where they are currently banned.