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SB 34: Require Armed Guards in Every School Building

Ten years ago, ammosexuals in the South Dakota Legislature enacted a school gunslinger program, allowing schools to let armed civilians (“school sentinels”) patrol their hallways just itching for a gunfight. Most sensible school districts have declined to take the Legislature up on that offer, recognizing that more guns and gunslingers in schools won’t make schools safer.

Determined to force our schools to affirm his ammosexuality, Senator Brent Hoffman (R-9/Hartford) proposes Senate Bill 34, which would require all schools (not just districts, but every school building) to have “immediately available” either school sentinels or school resources officers. To further get local control out of the way of gun-nuttiness, SB 34 repeals the statues allowing citizens to refer a school’s adoption of school sentinels to a public vote.

Senator Hoffman himself admits there’s not much for his SB 34 state-mandated gunslingers to shoot at:

Hoffman says despite a lack of mass school shootings in the state, representatives shouldn’t wait for something to happen before passing preventative measures.

“Yes, here in glorious South Dakota we’ve not been the site of a mass shooting but that doesn’t mean we won’t be, or we can’t be. So, the concern of parents is ‘What can we do to make our schools some of the safest in the nation,” said Hoffman [Adrian Carbajal, “State Legislator Proposes Bill Aimed at Preventing Mass School Shootings,” KEVN-TV, 2023.12.22].

There are real problems to solve in schools, but legislators like Senator Brent Hoffman would rather play John McClane than propose real solutions to do real good for South Dakota’s students and teachers.


  1. larry kurtz 2024-01-04 07:06

    In South Dakota freedom’s just another word for nothing left to choose.

  2. larry kurtz 2024-01-04 07:07

    Sidearms for every school kid!

  3. sx123 2024-01-04 07:26

    I can imagine a good South Park episode where schools have armed guards and all the students and teachers pack heat.

    imo, school security will become more like airport security over time.

    The locked doors and video buzzer keypads we have here is a good start.

  4. Dicta 2024-01-04 07:31

    Nothing says freedom like a bunch of gun toting government employees around kids. Government = bad. Armed government = good. Science!

  5. Kyle 2024-01-04 08:29

    We can’t even get a school counselor in every building. Let’s start with that….

  6. Mike Zitterich 2024-01-04 08:48

    I Do not agree of placing Armed Guards in our schools. I support the continuation of Local Police utilizing Resource Officers to participate in our public schools, helping to educate and protect our children. I also do not agree that the doors must be locked during business hours either.

  7. Rambler 2024-01-04 09:01

    Hoffman’s proposal doesn’t make the top 100 of the needs of public schools, teachers and students. “The dumb stuff” that misguided legislators propose seem endless.

  8. larry kurtz 2024-01-04 09:06

    How are police resource officers with sidearms not armed guards?

  9. sx123 2024-01-04 09:08

    Mike, the locked doors with video buzzer are great. They at least provide a bit of a delay, and I’m happy the schools here have them from my experience previously living in a big city. Small town have wackos too.

    Locked doors aren’t an inconvenience when you take your kid something during school… just stand there, press the buzzer button, and the front office looks you over and lets you in. Not a big deal.

  10. O 2024-01-04 09:53

    Virtue signaling under the guise of pro-education: nothing to see here; move along.

  11. sx123 2024-01-04 10:57

    And almost as if the gun gods have been looking down on us, there’s been a high school shooting in Perry, Iowa today.
    Population of only 7,900.

  12. e platypus onion 2024-01-04 12:27

    Is the state gonna pay the liability insurance bill for each school? Or will they decide schools cannot be sued if kids are slaughtered?

  13. Donald Pay 2024-01-04 12:28

    i agree that some security is needed at school buildings, but that’s best left to school boards who know best what law enforcement is available in the community and what threats are in the community, It doesn’t help that Republican politicians regularly disparage teachers and education in general. They give permission to any student or adult malcontent who is having a bad day to take a few pot shots at other students and teachers. I would suggest that the guards should be stationed at the Capitol to keep out the Governor, Senators and Representatives who incite hate against certain students,.

  14. Eve Fisher 2024-01-04 12:47

    Because of course none of the armed guards would EVER turn out to be cowards like they were in Uvalde….
    “There’s no way to fix this, says the only country in which mass shootings happen regularly.”

  15. O 2024-01-04 13:07

    Eve, even The Onion had to stop running that headline because of how often it was needed.

    To Donald’s point, what security measures are there that will be effective given the inherent, pervasive, insane insecurity created by the Conservative interpretation of the Second Amendment? The more-than-daily mass shootings, some in schools, and the 20,000 deaths are the ACCEPTED price the Conservatives have foisted on this nation for selfish ideology.

    As for any real action, the only thing Conservatives hate more than a gun being taken from their cold, dead hands is a dollar from their pocket — so expect posturing only in the wake of this all-to common occurrence.

  16. larry kurtz 2024-01-04 13:39

    Even at minimum wage, putting rent-a-cops in every school building in South Dakota would cost money the state would have to beg the feds for, right?

  17. Donald Pay 2024-01-04 13:42

    From my reading of this bill, the state will kick in one-third of the funding for security. That leaves two-thirds of the costs to be left to districts. Let me spell that out UNFUNDED MANDATE! There really must be a fiscal note on this bill. They say this is going to be addressed in the general appropriations bill. I’m not sure they can do it that way. This is mostly a new expenditure of money for a new program

  18. John 2024-01-04 13:50

    Repeal the 2d Amendment. It’s outlived its usefulness.

  19. jkl 2024-01-04 14:53

    I can hardly believe it has been ten years.

  20. e platypus onion 2024-01-04 16:09

    Will this bill cover charter and sub standard religious schools or do they get preferential treatment by magfats?

  21. All Mammal 2024-01-04 18:51

    In addition to what Doc Kurtz wrote at 13:39, wouldn’t it be darn right debasing to every teacher in the state for them to watch a goofy armed officer dink around and joke with students all day, knowing that cop wannabe reject gets a starting wage that exceeds the earnings of senior teachers in the building? We all know you couldn’t get a guy to show up for less than what he is certain he is worth. If you are trying to devalue educators, start with hiring armed guards at school.

    What are we doing here, guys? Try LISTENING to the people who are already sacrificing for our kids’ education, like Rambler and Kyle and Eve, E n em are all saying.

    G-whiz. The legislature needs to be humble and redneckognize who really runs stuff around here. It is not delusional Noem and Frye-Mueller types. If teachers were the leftist groomers the scared conservatives claim they are, don’t you think there would be a kid coming home with a recording of their teacher on his or her phone showing proof by now? But there isn’t. None. Zilch. Because teachers are doing right by our kids and deserve better than these disrespectful conservatives and their spawn.

  22. Arlo Blundt 2024-01-04 21:17

    Kyle points out that our school districts cannot afford to fill open counselor positions nor can they hire hire any more than very part time elementary counselors. Check further and you will find we have one of the most lenient school nurse regulations in the nation and the fewest school nurses per capita of nearly any state. When it comes to support staff, we’re a little slim on personnel. And now we have state mandated Armed Guards.

  23. Curt 2024-01-04 21:35

    First, let’s calm down. We have known for years that the legislature includes duly elected, well, morons. There is a process under which any legislator is able to submit almost any hair-brained idea as a “bill”, but remember your SchoolHouse Rock lessons – a bill is just a bill … for now. We, the people, now need to engage. Don’t be lazy.

  24. All Mammal 2024-01-05 01:49

    You’re darn tootin, Curt. And I APOLOGIZE for my previous ‘cop reject wannabe’ comment. I was only recollecting a job I had ages ago whereas I endured working alongside a couple asinine security officers who played on their phone all day and made irritating and frightening comments while watching me do manual labor, while receiving a better wage… Skewed management doesn’t mean every situation is the same and certainly doesn’t make all guards rejects. Sorry about that one.

    Man, I hope we see this bill flame out in short order.

  25. Mark Winegar 2024-01-05 07:00

    More people with guns in schools is not the answer. Kyle’s comment above is a much better point. We do need more school psychologists in schools who can identify and help resolve psychological issues before they get to a dangerous level. The barrier to hiring these professionals is the miserly funding the state provides for education.

  26. roger 2024-01-05 07:58

    who would take that job anyway? in every action film i have ever watched… the guard gets taken out first….

  27. Ben Cerwinske 2024-01-05 08:24

    Oftentimes the comments section (life in general?) goes from justified negativity to bitterness. All Mammal, I had considered pushing back on your “wannabe reject” comment, but was pleased see you recognized it was unhelpful and gave me a more hopeful outlook on things. I can understand the comment came from a painful place of experience though. I too think Curt has the right idea.

  28. e platypus onion 2024-01-05 09:57

    PERRY, Iowa —
    A 17-year-old opened fire at a small-town Iowa high school on the first day of school after the winter break, killing a sixth-grader and wounding five others Thursday as students barricaded in offices, ducked into classrooms and fled in panic.

    Mitch Mortvedt, assistant director of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, said 17-year-old Dylan Butler was armed with a pump-action shotgun and a small-caliber handgun to carry out the shooting.

    Mortvedt said a sixth-grade student at Perry Middle School, which is connected to the high school, was killed in the shooting. Five others, four students and a Perry school administrator, are being treated at local hospitals. One is in critical condition, Mortvedt said, and four others are in stable condition.

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