Skip to main content Skip to office menu Skip to footer
Capital IconMinnesota Legislature

House passes — by wide margin — bill clarifying use-of-force rules for school resource officers

Rep. Cedrick Frazier presents HF3489 on the House Floor March 4. Passed overwhelmingly, it would provide a uniform system across the state for districts that decide to have a school resource officer program. (Photo by Andrew VonBank)
Rep. Cedrick Frazier presents HF3489 on the House Floor March 4. Passed overwhelmingly, it would provide a uniform system across the state for districts that decide to have a school resource officer program. (Photo by Andrew VonBank)

Months of negotiations between legislators, school officials and the law enforcement community have led to agreement in the House on an updated school resource officer policy.

The House passed HF3489, sponsored by Rep. Cedrick Frazier (DFL–New Hope), 124-8 Monday. It now heads to the Senate.

The bill would clarify language around the use of certain choke holds and face-down prone restraints resource officers can place on students and update use-of-force standards for those officers.

Furthermore, it would remove language specific to contracted security and school resource officers placing restraining holds on students.

“The bill before us today clarifies the law regarding the use of force in schools, retaining crucial limitations on practices such as choke holds, and establishing clear standards for the training and deployment of school resource officers,” Frazier said. “The goal is to build relationships, not to damage relationships.”

Because of perceived ambiguity in legislation passed last year, more than 40 police departments pulled officers from participating school districts last fall.

House passes bill to update school resource officer use-of-force rules 3/4/24

“I’m hoping that we can get [school resource officers] back in the school with this fix today, and I think this will, obviously, keep our schools, our students and our teachers safe. But it will also give our parents some piece of mind,” Rep. Jeff Witte (R-Lakeville), a former school resource officer, said during a Monday press conference.

Except in cases of preventing bodily harm or death, the bill specifies a district employee, including a school resource officer, “shall not inflict any form of physical holding that restricts or impairs a pupil's ability to breathe; restricts or impairs a pupil's ability to communicate distress; places pressure or weight on a pupil's head, throat, neck, chest, lungs, sternum, diaphragm, back, or abdomen; or results in straddling a pupil's torso.”

Working with impacted Minnesotans including law enforcement agencies, local government, schools, community members and youth organizations, the Peace Officer Standards and Training Board would develop uniform training standards and a model policy for school resource officers throughout the state. Its deadline is Dec. 31, 2024.

Per the bill, the board must consider:

  • issues to be addressed in a school resource officer contract;
  • considerations for the proper use of force on school grounds, including the limitations on restraints, and response tactics and strategies that minimize the use and duration of prone restraint, other physical holds of students, and the duty to render reasonably prompt care to a person who an officer physically holds or restrains;
  • alternative procedures that can be used to de-escalate conflicts in schools and students and others in crisis;
  • ensuring school resource officers are being utilized appropriately and not for school disciplinary purposes;
  • building constructive police relationships with students, administrators, and educational staff;
  • proper procedures for protecting student data; and
  • when a refresher training course is required.

According to a fiscal note, the bill would cost $150,000 in fiscal year 2024 and $490,000 in fiscal year 2025 for increased staffing in the Public Safety Department’s school safety center to perform the duties required by the bill. Ongoing funding would be $490,000 annually.

Republicans said the problems in the law should have been dealt with sooner.

“House Republican have been pushing for a fix for this issue since August,” said House Minority Leader Lisa Demuth (R-Cold Spring). “We could have had this done even before our students went back to school. But we’re happy to be here now … where we can actually get a correction to this error.”

Related Articles

Priority Dailies

House closes 2024 session in chaotic fashion, trading bonding for budget boosts
(House Photography file photo) It was a session of modest ambitions. After 2023 produced a record $72 billion in biennial funding, Minnesota’s legislative leaders were dampening expectations for anything ...
Ways and Means Committee OKs proposed $512 million supplemental budget on party-line vote
(House Photography file photo) Meeting more needs or fiscal irresponsibility is one way to sum up the differences among the two parties on a supplemental spending package a year after a $72 billion state budg...

Minnesota House on Twitter