Education committee dismisses school safety bill, cites cost as primary concern
Detractors vow to keep working towards solutions
PIERRE – An effort to put an armed security officer in every South Dakota public school failed to clear its first legislative hurdle Thursday at the state Capitol.
State senators on the chamber’s Education Committee bounced a bill brought by Sen. Brent Hoffman that would have required an armed security officer – a school resource officer or a sentinel – to provide security on school grounds.
The first-term lawmaker says that he began working on the legislation after a school shooting in Nashville, Tennessee last year, where seven students and faculty were killed by an armed intruder.
South Dakota has had about seven school shootings since the 1960s, according to data provided by Hoffman.
“We can do better, and we must do better,” Hoffman told the committee during his opening remarks. “There is no fool proof approach to this, but this is a good start.”