SAINT PAUL – Rep. Peggy Scott (R-Andover) joined House and Senate Republicans this week in calling on Democrats to take action to resolve the Student Resource Officer (SRO) issue immediately. Republicans held a listening session Wednesday on SROs after Democrats ignored requests for an informational hearing to develop a bipartisan fix. Legislators heard from school staff, law enforcement, and those impacted by violence in schools for the purpose of developing a legislative solution.
“The SRO issue is not resolved until all officers are back in schools,” said Scott. “We are now over a month into the school year, and we are nowhere close to resolving this issue. Republicans are ready to work with Democrats to ensure every student, teacher, and staff member is safe at school.”
Democrats have been avoiding a legislative fix, hoping the revised opinion on the law from Attorney General Keith Ellison would be sufficient. However, Hennepin County Attorney Mary Moriarty released a contradicting interpretation of the law, suggesting that school resource officers could still be charged criminally, proving that a legislative fix is the only way forward. Due to the ongoing confusion this issue has created, a number of law enforcement agencies will not be returning school resource officers to schools.
“We must provide a solution in statute in order to return SROs to schools,” said Scott. “I am grateful to Anoka County Attorney Brad Johnson who participated at the informational hearing and urged the legislature to act swiftly to resolve this issue so we can ensure students and staff are safe at school. I stand with my Republican colleagues ready to work with Democrats on a bipartisan solution to keep all Minnesota schools safe.”
The House and Senate Republican SRO listening session can be viewed in full here.