ST. PAUL — State Rep. Jeff Dotseth, R-Silver Township, said he shares growing concerns over how changes in state law made earlier this year could compromise safety in Minnesota schools.
An omnibus education bill (HF 2497) enacted into law after the 2023 session concluded imposes new 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."
Dotseth said this change will undermine our ability to provide a safe learning environment for all students and staff throughout our state.
"Our students, teachers and staff deserve to have a safe environment in which to learn and perform their jobs," Dotseth said. "Changes the governor and Democrat legislators made earlier this year could compromise our ability to uphold safety and maintain order in our schools.
"It would be an injustice for shortsighted decisions made in St. Paul to put students and staff at risk, depriving them of the safe learning environment we can all agree is crucial to a good education. I have discussed this issue with a number of people locally and share their concerns. We need to fix state law to resolve this problem as soon as possible and ensure our schools are safe and welcoming places to learn."
The League of Minnesota Cities and the Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association are among groups to recently raise concerns publicly regarding this issue.
Doseth indicated House Republicans authored legislation during the 2023 legislative session stipulating a student who is violent could be removed from a classroom and then returned after a consultation by the school administrator with the teacher, parents and appropriate school support personnel regarding ways to improve the students behavior. The Democrat majority initially included the measure in an omnibus education package last spring, but removed it from the bill late in the 2023 session.