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Wednesday, January 27, 2016

S.C. Bill Would Designate Some School Employees As Protection Officers

A bill has been introduced in South Carolina that would provide for teachers, administrators or any other school employees to carry firearms or pepper spray on school grounds and designate them as “School Protection Officers.” Bill 4716, also known as the “School Protection Officer Act,” would amend a 1976 law that prohibits firearms on school property by adding exemptions for these proposed protection officers.

The bill states that armed school employees would “provide armed protection and other related public safety functions” at schools and classify the “School Protection Officers” as class 4 law enforcement officers who would receive training from the criminal justice academy. Guidelines for the specific training and requirements would be developed by the academy and the South Carolina law enforcement council. If passed, each school district would be able to decide whether to implement school protection officers, and the districts would be required to hold public hearings before deciding.