ST. PAUL – With 44 Democrat lawmakers declaring that they do not support a fix to law that has left dozens of schools without school resources officers, state Rep. Paul Anderson, R-Starbuck, is urging those Democrats who remain undecided to join Republicans in asking Gov. Tim Walz to call a special session and work together on a solution.
Anderson said new state law changes what SROs are allowed to do to de-escalate aggressive or violent situations, taking away tools they can use to keep students and teachers safe. In response, over 40 law enforcement agencies have pulled SROs from schools across Minnesota.
“This is an issue of significant concern in our region and things are not going to improve as long as the more radical views on law enforcement act as a roadblock to common-sense solutions,” Anderson said. “We can get this done to make our students, teachers and staff safer, but we need to the governor to call a special session for that to happen and he should do so as soon as possible. All 64 House Republicans have indicated we stand ready to fix this broken law, so we just need a few Democrats to join us.”
House and Senate Republicans have urged Walz to call a special session to clarify the SRO language that is now in law. In response, 44 Democrat lawmakers stated they do not support a special session, preferring to leave the law alone.
Anderson said political games should not be played with student and teacher safety, and urged Democrats to do the right thing and join Republicans in addressing law enforcement’s concerns with the new law and brining SROs back to the schools that have lost them.
“We can’t afford to let politics sidetrack us from doing the right thing on this issue,” Anderson said. “The vast majority of Minnesotans support fixing this law so SROs have the tools available to de-escalate potentially dangerous situations as warranted. I call on my DFL colleagues to work with House Republicans to address this issue soon.”