Legislation has been filed in Pierre that would allow South Dakota school boards to create a plan to arm school employees, security guards or volunteers, known as ‘school sentinels,’ within its schools.
The bill, House Bill 1087, was filed Thursday morning and has nearly 30 sponsors including members of Republican leadership in the House and Senate.
The legislation says that school boards have ‘sole discretion’ to develop a school sentinel program in a way that will ‘enhance the deterrence of physical threat…against violent attack by any terrorist, criminal, deranged person, or other perpetrator of deadly force.’
School boards must consult with local law enforcement when setting up the school sentinel program and can not arm any school employee or teacher without their ‘free, willing, and voluntary consent.’
Schools are not required to set up these programs according to the bill.