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RELEASE: Minnesota House POCI Caucus Statement Supporting Law Limiting Use of Force in Minnesota Schools

Friday, September 8, 2023


Minnesota House POCI Caucus Statement Supporting Law Limiting Use of Force in Minnesota Schools 

SAINT PAUL, Minn. – The Minnesota House POCI Caucus released the following statement regarding the ongoing discussion over a provision limiting use of force in Minnesota schools and the potential for a special session on the issue: 

“The provision in the Education bill passed earlier this year related to school personnel is clear: school staff, including school resource officers (SROs), are not allowed to use prone restraints, or ‘any form of physical holding that restricts or impairs a pupil’s ability to breathe; restricts or impairs a pupil’s ability to communicate distress; places pressure or weight on a pupil’s head, throat, neck, chest, lungs, sternum, diaphragm, back, or abdomen; or results in straddling a pupil’s torso.’

“As the Attorney General made clear in his guidance on the issue, this restriction does not apply when used to prevent bodily harm or death, and the test for reasonable force is unchanged by the new law. The Attorney General also made clear that holds used in emergency situations will not subject SROs or other staff to liability. 

“Given the clarity of the law as passed, additional guidance from the League of Minnesota Cities and the Attorney General, and the clause allowing SROs to use those methods in serious cases, changes to the law are not needed. With these clarifications, many SRO's continue to serve their schools and others are following suit.

“We continue to engage with community leaders in education and public safety as well as other legislators, leadership, and the Governor on this issue. Our goal is to ensure that all students are safe in our schools and that SROs are available to continue to serve in school districts where they are desired.” 

The House POCI Caucus is comprised of; Co-Chair Rep. Esther Agbaje (59B), Co-Chair Rep. Cedrick Frazier (43A), Vice Chair Rep. Liish Kozlowski (08B), Rep. Jamie, Becker-Finn (40B), Rep. Ethan Cha (47B), Rep. Mary Frances Clardy (53A), Rep. Aisha Gomez (62A), Rep. Hodan Hassan (62B), Kaohly Vang Her (64A), Rep. Athena Hollins (66B), Rep. Samakab Hussein (65A), Rep. Heather Keeler (04A), Rep. Fue Lee (59A), Rep. Liz Lee (67A), Rep. Mohamud Noor (60B), Rep. María Isa Pérez-Vega (65B), Rep. Samantha Sencer-Mura (63A), Rep. Samantha Vang (38B), and Rep. Jay Xiong (67B).