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August 17th, 2023 Legislative Update

Updated: Aug 24, 2023

The League of Minnesota Cities and the Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association raised concerns this week over the DFL's changes to student disciplinary policy, specifically language banning certain physical holds. According to the Police Chiefs' letter,

In the amended Minnesota Statute sections 121A.58 and 121A.582, the language now “prohibits the use of prone restraint.” The authority to use force for the sole purpose of restraining a student has been removed from law. As a result, using a prone restraint circumstances in any situation, including the threat of death or bodily harm is no longer an option.

I've heard from numerous law enforcement officers concerned about this change, since it will remove necessary tools that school resource officers (SROs) use to deescalate aggressive situations in schools. The safety of our students, teachers, and school staff is paramount, and this change will make everybody less safe. SROs are there to keep our students, teachers, and school staff safe, and taking away the tools they have to do that is a mistake.

On top of that, this law contains confusing and conflicting language that makes it difficult to implement. It was never heard in the Public Safety committee for review by experts in the field, and this new law could open up SROs and school districts to increased liability if they implement this confusing law incorrectly.

I will continue to push for commonsense changes that give authority back to SROs to keep our students safe.

Please Contact Me Please feel free to reach out to my office if there is any way I can be of assistance. My phone number is 651-296-4282, I am here to serve you! Have a great weekend! Jim


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