PIERRE, S.D. - The South Dakota Senate has passed a bill that would allow school districts to arm teachers and other personnel with guns.
The Senate voted 21-14 to pass the measure Wednesday. The bill now returns to the House for consideration of changes made by the Senate. Those changes include a provision allowing people to refer a school board's decision to arm teachers to a public vote.
The measure's main sponsor, Senator Craig Tieszen of Rapid City, says the bill would not force any school district to arm its teachers and would not force any teachers to carry guns.
Tieszen says rural schools far from law enforcement agencies might want to arm teachers or retired law officers to protect against tragedies like December's school shooting in Connecticut.