ISBA: Knife bill ‘took us by surprise’

The Idaho School Boards Association will look to amend a bill that would prohibit local districts from restricting knives on school grounds.

“It took us by surprise,” ISBA executive director Karen Echeverria said of Senate Bill 1092, which passed the Senate 25-10 on Monday.

Heider New
Sen. Lee Heider, R-Twin Falls

As written, Sen. Lee Heider’s bill would prohibit any local government from passing “any ordinance, rule or tax relating to the transportation, possession, carrying, sale, transfer, purchase, gift, devise, licensing, registration or use of a knife or knife-making components.” That language applies to school districts as well as cities and counties.

The bill still must pass the House. And the ISBA would like the House to carve out an exemption allowing school districts to regulate knives. “We can’t wait until next year, as Sen. Heider suggested,” Echeverria said in an email.

Meanwhile, the Coeur d’Alene School District has also come out against Senate Bill 1092.

“We are concerned SB 1092 will take our school safety efforts backwards,” district spokeswoman Laura Rumpler said in a statement, first reported at D.F. Oliveria’s Huckleberries Online blog at the Spokane Spokesman-Review. “We encourage the state legislature to revisit the language of this bill to protect our school children and our weapons-free school environments.”

Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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