ST. PAUL – On March 29, Minnesota House Republicans highlighted a comprehensive plan designed to prioritize student safety.
State Representative Tim Miller (R-Prinsburg) says he supports the idea.
“A core responsibility of government is to protect its citizens from bad people, and that’s what we’re trying to do here,” Miller said. “We’re really going to allow the schools to determine what’s best for them.”
Miller said the approach includes more resources to meet the needs of students and schools statewide which includes everything from hiring more school resource officers, student counselors and mental health professionals to making critical building security upgrades.
The following solutions are currently advancing through the public committee process and will be included in the larger proposal:
- School resources officers, student support personnel, and other school security programs funded through increased Safe Schools revenue, including a minimum 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 programing to ensure better outcomes for all 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.
“We’ve brought this forward with significant money, more than twice what the governor has proposed,” Miller said. “We are very serious in moving forward and hopefully helping these schools to ensure the protection of our students.”