South Dakota Republican Governor Kristi Noem is having a $400,000 security fence built around the governor’s official residence at the insistence of her security team, which deemed it to be “critical at this time.”
“Noem’s office did not give specifics on any threats, but her spokeswoman Maggie Seidel said her security team recommended the fence,” the Associate Press reported. Noem “raised her national political profile in the past year, including tying herself more closely to President Donald Trump, who spoke at Mount Rushmore on the eve of Independence Day this year.”
“In America, we debate issues; we don’t turn to violence,” Seidel said. “But it only takes one, and per the Governor’s security team, putting up a fence around the residence is critical at this time.”
The construction of the fence comes as political violence has skyrocketed in recent months with violent riots breaking out in Democrat-controlled cities across the country.
Noem has been one of the governors at the forefront of trying to get kids back into school for the upcoming school year and has been known to have a more hands off approach with how she has responded to the coronavirus pandemic.
“Well, the science is clear our kids need to be in school. It’s better for them,” Noem told Fox News late last month. “We’ve got a lot of kids that haven’t checked in since this virus hit. It’s really our most vulnerable population that needs to be back in those classrooms.”
“We have proven that distance learning is not as effective as being in the classroom. We think that kids have only achieved about 70 percent of the learning that they could have, had they been in school,” Noem continued. “And then also, we have a lot of kids that don’t have a stable home environment. They don’t have parents that are really being responsible to make sure that they’re learning. Those are the kids that are getting hurt the most. And in South Dakota, in some districts, it’s up to 30 percent of the children.”
“So they need to be there in the classroom where these teachers and administrators can see how they’re doing,” Noem added. “Look at them, give them a hot meal. Make sure that we’re taking care of them. And then make sure that every single child, at this important time in their life – that they have the opportunity to learn so they can be successful for the rest of their life.”
In a separate interview on Fox News, Noem urged other governors to trust their residents and not take away their freedoms during the pandemic.
“I think what we did here in South Dakota is really remarkable because we gave people their freedom,” Noem said. “We let the businesses stay open, we let people go to work, we told them to be smart, and we also asked them to be personally responsible. And, we’re seeing benefits of that each and every day in South Dakota.”