Walz signs compromise school resource officer bill

Published 2:29 pm Friday, March 15, 2024

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By Dana Ferguson and Anna Haecherl

Minnesota Public Radio News

Gov. Tim Walz signed a compromise school resource officer bill Thursday.

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The bill allows officers to use prone restraints in situations where students pose a risk to themselves or others. It also sets up funding for extra training for officers and requires the POST Board to develop a model policy, according to the governor’s office.

“Every child deserves a world-class education and a learning environment that is safe, supportive, and healthy. As integral members of their school community, school resource officers serve students and teachers day in and day out. This bill provides comprehensive guidance and clarity, allowing school resource officers to continue to do their jobs effectively,” said Walz. “I’m grateful to legislators, school leaders, education advocates, youth voices, and law enforcement for working together to get this done and ensure we’re keeping our kids safe.”

Both chambers accepted the proposal after lawmakers ironed out differences.

Several police departments pulled school resource officers due to a law approved last spring that prohibited any school employees from using the holds.

“I cautioned last year this bill needed the input of law enforcement, but clearly, that wasn’t done,” Sen. Zach Duckworth, R- Lakeville, said. “The bill passed today corrects this mistake, and respects the input of students, law enforcement, school districts, cities, and parents to restore SROs to schools.”

GOP lawmakers brought amendments that would have reverted the law on prone holds to the policy that existed prior to the change last year. Those came up short and were not accepted.