Legislation that gives South Dakota school districts the authority to arm administrators, staff or volunteers inside schools is headed to the governor’s desk.
The South Dakota House of Representatives gave final passage to the school sentinel bill Monday afternoon 40-19. The bill is aimed at allowing districts to protect schools from an intruder by allowing a civilian to carry a gun. The proposal is in response to the December school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut.
The House had passed the legislation earlier in the session but had to vote on an amendment added in the Senate last week that would require school boards to vote on adding sentinels in a public meeting. Another Senate amendment the House approved Monday allows citizens to refer the decision about adding sentinels to a public vote.
South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard says he is not opposed to the idea of having school sentinels.
"I don't object to the concept so long as there are safe guards. I want to read the bill when it finally reaches my desk,” Daugaard said last week.