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January25

ASBSD Weekly Legislative Roundup

“Sentinel” bill passes committee

 

Following almost three hours of testimony and discussion spread acrosstwo days, the House Education committee passed an amended version of House Bill 1087 by an 8-7 vote this morning. The bill moves to the House floor for hearing next week.

 

The bill would allow school boards to “create, establish and supervise” a “sentinel” program that would arm staff, security or volunteers on school grounds.

 

“We’re disappointed the committee passed the bill,” Executive Wade Pogany said. ASBSD opposes the bill based on the standing position for “Safe and Secure Schools” which supports keeping “weapons” away from school grounds.

 

Part of the amendment requires school boards receive the approval of the county sheriff with jurisdiction over the district before implementing the “sentinel” program. The new requirement would shift the local control element proponents of the bill argued school boards had in deciding on the program to the discretion of the county sheriff.

 

Additionally, the amendment calls for non-law enforcement individuals filling the “sentinel” role to receive only 40-hours of firearms training from law enforcement before carrying the weapon.

 

The amendment also requires school boards only discuss the “sentinel” program in executive session.

 

“While we appreciate the attempt to address concerns with the amendment, it simply does not change the fact that this is bad policy,” Pogany said. “We maintain that more firearms in schools make them unsafe.”

“Quotes” of Note

 

(Quotes span the two-day hearing in House Education on HB 1087.)

 

“A school filled with young people is an unforgiving environment, where a miss will prove harmful or even deadlier to innocence. You cannot miss.” – Lead-Deadwood School Board member and military veteran Orson Ward.

 

“After the horrible shooting in Connecticut, I thought, ‘it’s time to do something.’” – Rep. Betty Olson (28B).

 

“Schools are still safe environments. We plan, we prepare, we practice.” – SASD Executive Director Rob Munson.

 

“When push comes to shove, the only way, in reality, to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” – Rep. Dan Kaiser (3).

 

“Is it acceptable to let teachers and administrators to carry firearms in a school with children? This is not a debate about local control. Arming teachers and arming administrators is so grave it needs to be decided (in the legislature).” – Executive Director Wade Pogany.
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