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. Joe McDonald, R-Delano, 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.
McDonald 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.
“At the very least, our students, teachers and staff deserve to have a safe environment in which to learn and work," McDonald said. “Changes the governor and DFL legislators made this year made our schools less safe and we need to fix this with common-sense solutions as soon as possible. We cannot afford to allow extremists in the DFL to hold things up any longer. House Republicans stand ready to work on a bipartisan fix that most Minnesotans want and I urge my DFL colleagues to join us in this effort now.”
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.
McDonald 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 cannot afford to play politics with school safety,” McDonald said. “It’s bad enough to see how lawlessness has been allowed to flourish in the streets of our state, but we absolutely cannot afford to fail our children, teachers and school staff. I’m calling on my DFL colleagues to stop delaying so we can fix this problem in a special session.”