PIERRE, S.D. — South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard signed a bill Friday allowing the state’s school districts to arm teachers and other personnel with guns.
Supporters say the armed workers could help prevent tragedies such as December’s shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., in which 20 students and six teachers died.
Several representatives of school boards, school administrators, and teachers opposed the bill during committee testimony last month. They said the measure could make schools more dangerous, lead to accidental shootings, and put guns in the hands of people who are not adequately trained to shoot in emergency situations.
The bill’s main sponsor, Representative Scott Craig, Republican of Rapid City, said this week that he has received messages from a growing number of school board members and administrators who back it. Craig said rural districts do not have the money to hire full-time law officers.