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RELEASE: Rep. Baker Statement on the Passage of School Resource Officer Fix Bill

Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Saint Paul, MN —The Minnesota House of Representatives on Monday approved a bill to improve school safety after a change in law last year resulted in school resource officers (SROs) to be removed from many schools throughout the state. State Representative Dave Baker, R-Willmar, issued the following statement reacting to Monday’s vote:

“Few things are more important than protecting our schools and the students, teachers, and staff that call them home,” said Baker. “That’s why I am pleased that we were able to reach a bipartisan solution that provides the clarification that law enforcement and schools were looking for regarding School Resource Officers. Our schools are better served when SROs are present and developing necessary relationships with students. While it may have taken longer for House and Senate Democrats to come to their senses and work with us on this, I am nevertheless happy to see it get done.”

The issue traces back to an omnibus education bill (HF 2497) Democrats enacted in 2023 that imposed prohibitions on the use of force in schools, banning certain physical holds by “an employee or agent of a district, including a school resource officer, security personnel, or police officer contracted with a district."

Language in the new measure provides updates which exclude SROs as employees or agents of a school district, exclude SROs from the prohibitions on prone restraints and physical holds; revise the “reasonable force standard” and mandate school districts and charter schools use only trained SROs and establishes new training and model policy requirements for law enforcement.

The House approved the bill 124-8 and it now awaits action in the Senate.