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Rep. Bob Dettmer Statement on New Legislative Package that Puts Student Safety First

Thursday, March 29, 2018

School security upgrades, mental health resources & crisis training featured in proposal

St. Paul, MN—House Republicans unveiled a legislative package Thursday aimed at putting student safety first. Legislators’ multifaceted approach includes more resources to meet the needs of students and schools statewide. This allows for hiring more school resource officers, student counselors and mental health professionals in addition to making critical building security upgrades. In total, House Republicans are proposing approximately $50 million for mental health and school safety funding, double the amount proposed by Governor Dayton.

“Student safety is one of the top priorities I’ve been hearing about from our community this session, and our proposal will provide school districts with needed funding and flexibility to help keep Minnesota kids safe,” said Rep. Bob Dettmer, R-Forest Lake. “This is really about listening to what our school districts need, providing for everything from building security upgrades to school counselors to school resource officers. It’s a balanced approach that will improve school and student safety.”

The following solutions, authored by numerous House Republican members, are currently advancing through the public committee process, and will be included in the larger proposal:

  • School resource officers, student support personnel, and other school security programs funded through increased Safe Schools revenue, including a floor level of funding for small schools
  • School building security upgrades, and expanded use of Long-Term Facility Maintenance revenue for security projects, including emergency communications systems
  • School-linked mental health programming to ensure better outcomes for kids
  • Physical security audit grants to provide state assistance to review facility security and crisis management policies
  • Suicide prevention training for teachers to help educators learn how to engage and assist students experiencing mental distress
  • School-based threat assessment teams established to assess, intervene, and report threats facing students, teachers, and staff