Panel Approves Requiring Schools To Plan For Violent Events

A legislative panel has approved a measure requiring South Dakota schools to have a safety plan for potential violent incidents such as a shooting.

The Senate Education Committee on Thursday passed the proposal, which also would require schools to conduct lockdown drills annually.

The bill’s sponsor is Republican Sen. Larry Tidemann. He says violence at schools is a “situation that we’re living in today.”

Tidemann says schools have drills for tornados and fires, so they should also have a blueprint for reacting to violent situations.

The proposal says a school should designate a leader for if a violent incident occurs, establish evacuation procedures and create an emergency response team that includes local law enforcement.

Tidemann says some schools already have plans, but this would guarantee all of them do.