The so-called school sentinel bill clears another hurdle. The plan allowing districts to arm certain staff members passed the Senate on Wednesday afternoon.
The school sentinel bill opens the door for local districts to decide if they want to arm a certain employee in the school for added protection against an intruder.
The bill is in response to the tragic school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in December.
Opponents argued that more guns do not make schools safer, adding that most teachers don't support the legislation.
Supporters say the bill doesn't mandate school districts to have sentinels but simply leaves the decision up to the local officials.
"This is very much about local control and us trusting the people that are at the helm in those local school districts to make appropriate decisions based on the very unique circumstances that surrounds our 151 school districts,” Sen. Larry Rhoden (R), Union Center said.
"The school board association doesn't want this. The teachers don't want this. I've heard from a number of parents who don't want this,” Sen. Angie Buhl (D), Sioux Falls said.
The House now has to sign off on the amendments made in the Senate, which include making the discussion on adding sentinels a public discussion and allowing citizens to refer a decision about adding sentinels to a public vote.
If the House approves those changes the bill will only need Governor Dennis Daugaard's signature to become law.