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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Lisa Demuth (R)

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Demuth urges DFL support for School Resources Officer law fix

Monday, September 11, 2023


ST. PAUL – With 44 Democrat lawmakers declaring they do not support a fix to law that has left dozens of schools without school resources officers, state Rep. Lisa Demuth, R-Cold Spring, 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.

Demuth 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.

“It’s incredibly urgent that we fix this problem, get SROs back in schools, and keep our students safe,” Demuth said. “It’s disappointing to see anti-law enforcement rhetoric delaying a special session taking place, especially since it’s just 44 out of 201 legislators taking this more extreme view. The votes are there to fix this problem right now if the more reasonable Democrats join Republicans to work on common-sense language that most Minnesotans want.

“Governor Walz said himself that a special session would be ‘smart’ and that ‘to get this clarified makes sense.’ If the governor is truly serious about solving this problem and making sure our schools are safe, it’s time to bring Republicans to the table. A bipartisan fix is the only way forward, and House Republicans are ready and waiting to get this fixed and make sure SROs can return to their posts as soon as possible.”

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.

Demuth 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.

“Our children, teachers and school staff deserve a safe, welcoming environment,” Demuth said. “Public safety is the state's top responsibility to its residents, after all. Let's do the right thing and correct this issue now in a special session.”