First responders would need to complete a one-week class to carry guns on school property in emergencies under a bill in the South Carolina House of Representatives.
The legislation also calls for school responders to foot the $593 bill for the course, which would include shoot/don’t shoot training, as well as instruction on school safety protection, diffusing volatile situations and communicating with law enforcement agents.
The bill was prompted by last year’s shooting at Townville Elementary School, which resulted in the death of first-grader Jacob Hall.
Proposals to hire more school resources officers or arm teachers appear to have little chance of passage before the South Carolina General Assembly adjourns next month.
Besides completing the one-week course, his legislation would require armed first responders at schools to possess concealed weapons permits.
Rep. Jonathon Hill, a Republican from Townville, said he isn’t convinced that armed firefighters and other emergency personnel need more training to respond to school shootings.
In the weeks after the Townville shooting, Hall’s family urged legislators to pass a law requiring armed school resource officers to be placed in all South Carolina schools.
Erson School District 4 now has hired a full-time school resource officer for Townville Elementary.
Before becoming lieutenant governor in January, Kevin Bryant proposed a similar bill in the Senate, as well as a measure that would give school districts the flexibility to use state money to hire school resource officers.
The proposed state budget does not include any money earmarked for hiring new school resource officers.
Tom Dobbins, board chairman for Anderson School District 4, said his district plans to hire full-time school resource officers for La France, Mt. Lebanon and Pendleton elementary schools.