SC Proposes Arming School Employees
Bill 4716, is a bill introduced in the South Carolina legislature that seeks to amend SC law to include school employees who can be designated as armed School Protection Officers.
The bill would also designate those employees as “Class 4 law enforcement officers” which would allow them access to training with the law enforcement community.
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School Protection Officer Act
The Act specifically states that the employee’s duties as an SPO are voluntary, and the school cannot use state funds to pay for them. Their duties are in addition to their regular ones.
Who can be a School Protection Officer? The Act delineates the requirements as:
1) holds a valid concealed weapons permit pursuant to Article 4, Chapter 31, Title 23;
(2) is Class 4 certified to be a school protection officer pursuant to Section 23-23-112;
(3) keeps the weapon on his person at all times while on the premises except when locked in the school firearm safe;
(4) keeps the weapon concealed when not in use or locked in the school firearm safe;
(5) uses only frangible bullets in an effort to avoid ricochets; and
(6) has no history of violence or unmanaged anger documented by his employer.
The schools must create a list of those designated as SPOs and provide that list to law enforcement. That list is NOT considered public record.
They also must participate in Continuing Education through the Law Enforcement Training Council. The Council is charged by the bill with creating a two week course for each SPO that must include such normal law enforcement items as first responder medical training, rapid response training, identifying and containing potential threats and occurring threats, defusing volatile situations and resolving conflict.
It is a lot to cram into a two week course. Standard law enforcement academy training is up to 10 weeks in most places.
How many will apply? First they have to get this out of the Education and Public Works Committee of the South Carolina Legislature.