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March08

Gov. signs Sentinel bill

Governor Dennis Daugaard signed the bill allowing school districts to arm school employees and volunteers in and on school grounds into law this morning.

 

Prior to signing the bill, Gov. Daugaard had not indicated his position on the bill, but earlier in session noted he liked the bill’s concept.

 

House Bill 1087 gives school boards the option to implement, or not, a school Sentinel program, which permits non-law enforcement individuals to carry guns in the school under the belief it will increase the protection of students, staff and others in the school.

 

ASBSD opposed the bill.

 

Before implementation of the program, the school board must receive approval of the local law enforcement agencies.

 

A provision in the bill provides a waiver of liability to the state’s Attorney General Office and local law enforcement agencies with jurisdiction over a school district where a sentinel program is established.

 

Any non-law enforcement individual taking the role of School Sentinel is required to complete 40-hours of firearms training – paid for by the school district. The state’s Standards and Training Commission was appointed to oversee the firearms training.

 

ASBSD Executive Director Wade Pogany introduced an amendment in the Senate State Affairs committee hearing that would have assembled the formation of a task force to study a comprehensive plan for school safety. The amendment was not adopted.

 

The bill will take effect for the 2013-14 school year.

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