Lawmakers Encourage Sentinel Programs After Florida Shooting

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – South Dakota legislative leaders are encouraging school districts to allow approved employees to carry guns after a shooting at a Florida high school that killed 17 people.

South Dakota Senate Majority Leader Blake Curd said Thursday the state’s “school sentinel” program is a resource schools should use.

It allows for the arming of school employees, hired security personnel or volunteers. State law requires that sentinels be trained.

Curd says officials’ thoughts and prayers go out to those in Parkland, Florida, where the Wednesday shooting occurred.

South Dakota lawmakers passed a school sentinel law in March 2013, a few months after the deadly Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Connecticut.

The Tri-Valley School District in 2016 became the first in South Dakota to approve a school sentinel policy.

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