South Dakota to allow armed teachers in schools

Joanna Baginska a fourth-grade teacher from Odyssey Charted School, in American Fork, Utah,  aims a gun 27 December 2012, Teachers will not be forced to carry guns under the South Dakota law

The US state of South Dakota has enacted a law allowing school districts to arm teachers and other school staff.

The law's backers say it will prevent mass school shootings like a December massacre in Connecticut that killed 26.

Amid a push by the White House to strengthen gun laws, the bill reflects a growing divide in the US over whether more or fewer guns keep people safe.

The measure does not force school districts to arm teachers and will not require teachers to carry guns.

But it allows each school district to choose if staff could be armed. It takes effect in July.

Under the Republican-sponsored bill, school staff given permission to carry firearms on campus will be known as "school sentinels". The state has given a law enforcement commission the task of establishing a training programme for the sentinels.

Several representatives of school boards, teachers and other staff spoke against the bill in legislative hearings, arguing guns would make schools more dangerous.

But sponsor Representative Scott Craig said this week had heard from a number of school officials who back it.

Mr Craig said rural districts do not have the money to hire full-time police officers.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 61.

    @44. brittennisfan. Think about it, if you're a gun-toting psycho going into a school where teachers are armed, what would you do? You'd get bigger guns; more ammo and shoot sooner and more indiscriminately. A recipe for carnage. As Jesus said, if you try to defend yourself with swords - you'll die by the sword [thankfully, they didn't have guns in the first century].

  • rate this

    Comment number 60.

    ebpeteeb - We have heard this on before. Guns DO kill people, just as car accidents, industrial disasters and sexually transmitted diseases do. The very presence of a firearm raises the potential for death or injury. Taken to its logical conclusion, this somewhat trite and unhelpful statement implies that all human death is the result of deliberate human agency.

  • rate this

    Comment number 59.

    Having been a teacher who went through a stress-related breakdown, I cannot begin to describe how astonishingly dumb this idea is. Had I been armed at the time, goodness only knows what could have happened.
    This also means that a disturbed teenager now knows precisely where to go to get a gun if there are none in their home.

  • rate this

    Comment number 58.

    5 Minutes ago
    Without guns they will be massacred, as has been seen before. At least if they have a gun they have a chance.


    The challenge will ATTRACT the shooters, just as video gamers don't want simple target shooting games, they want to face opponents.

  • rate this

    Comment number 57.

    With the NRA, setting the agenda there will be no reforms to gun law in the US which is what is really needed. The unlawful killing of children and adults will go on and sadly this debate will rage again and again nothing will be done. It looks like ground hogh day to me.

  • rate this

    Comment number 56.

    History is full of lost civilisations that were hugely advanced and then suddenly disappeared. It’s like they reach a zenith before suddenly falling apart. Watching American politics I feel like I am watching that degradation in civilisation happen right before my eyes. Politics, society, art all drifting slowly toward lower standards and chaos. Even Obama, it seems, can’t slow the decline.

  • rate this

    Comment number 55.

    49.Quo Vadis
    "It won't make the slightest bit of difference."
    I agree it won't make any difference in making schools any safer and I doubt that many teachers will opt to tote a gun. However if it it catches is certain that there will be some unintended consequences, some tragic.

  • rate this

    Comment number 54.

    Sadly, gun control as a subject has become part of the secularist holy scripture, and as such cannot be challenged, least of all by logic.
    Israel is a country where guns are practically universal, owing to the need to defend the nation from terrorists, and yet has very low gun crime. But let's not challenge secularist dogma with mere facts. Who needs reality anyway?

  • rate this

    Comment number 53.

    Only in America could such foolish legislation be passed.
    Lord have Pity on them for they know not what they do.

  • Comment number 52.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 51.

    "The dog ate your homework?"

    "Here boy! teacher's got something for you Old Yeller"

  • rate this

    Comment number 50.

    The NRA argues that carrying a gun is a 'personal freedom'.All freedom comes at a cost If the cost of that freedom is putting their and others children at more risk from maniacs with guns, perhaps including their teachers. It must be time to limit the freedom for the sake of all.

  • rate this

    Comment number 49.

    It won't make the slightest bit of difference.

  • rate this

    Comment number 48.

    Most of the people who carry out school shootings turn the guns on themselves. I don't think armed teachers will deter them.

    More guns in schools = more danger to everyone.

  • rate this

    Comment number 47.

    "In God We Trust".
    May God have mercy on you........

  • rate this

    Comment number 46.

    I worked in America for 3 years and only by being there can you begin to understand the almost childlike facination that americans have with guns. They really need to grow up as a nation.

  • rate this

    Comment number 45.

    I'm nowhere near pension age, but I remember when policemen in Britain didn't carry guns. They didn't need them because the criminals didn't carry guns either. This was a better time and place.

  • rate this

    Comment number 44.

    Whilst I can see the obvious potential problems, such as children stealing a careless teacher's gun, or the teacher going on a shooting spree, the fact remains that if a gun toting psycho attacks the school, the teachers and pupils have much more of a chance if they can defend themselves. Without guns they will be massacred, as has been seen before. At least if they have a gun they have a chance.

  • rate this

    Comment number 43.

    [shakes head] .... what ever! The loony Right strikes again.

  • rate this

    Comment number 42.

    @25. beanie bingbong: "I would like to ask all the so-called christians in America who are so very protective of their millions of guns a question. What WOULD Jesus say?" That's easy, we already know: ' “Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him [Peter, who started to defend Jesus when Jesus was being arrested], “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword." ' Matthew 26:52.


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