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RELEASE: Rep. Bakeberg, House and Senate Republicans Call for SRO Action

Friday, October 13, 2023

SAINT PAUL – Rep. Ben Bakeberg (R-Jordan) joined House and Senate Republicans this week in calling on Democrats to take action to resolve the Student Resource Officer (SRO) issue immediately. Republicans held a listening session Wednesday on SROs after Democrats ignored requests for an informational hearing to develop a bipartisan fix. Legislators heard from school staff, law enforcement, and those impacted by violence in schools for the purpose of developing a legislative solution. 

“The SRO issue is not resolved until every officer is back in school,” said Bakeberg. “I have been working with the House and Senate Republican Education and Public Safety teams to come up with a solution to this problem. I hope Democrats will finally join us so we can work together to ensure SROs can continue to build relationships with students and keep them and their teachers safe at school.”

Democrats have been avoiding a legislative fix, hoping the revised opinion on the law from Attorney General Keith Ellison would be sufficient. However, Hennepin County Attorney Mary Moriarty released a contradicting interpretation of the law, suggesting that school resource officers could still be charged criminally, proving that a legislative fix is the only way forward. Due to the ongoing confusion this issue has created, a number of law enforcement agencies will not be returning school resource officers to schools. 

“I was proud to participate in this important listening session so that legislators and the public can hear directly from stakeholders on the importance of returning SROs to schools,” said Bakeberg. “As a middle school principal, I have seen firsthand the importance of student resource officers in building trusting relationships with students. We need a resolution in statute now so that SROs can continue their important work.”

The House and Senate Republican SRO listening session can be viewed in full here.