Bill clarifying SRO law headed to Walz

Bill clarifying SRO law headed to Walz

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(KSTP) – Legislation to clarify the role of school resource officers (SRO) in Minnesota schools is now headed to the governor’s desk.

After the House and Senate approved slightly different versions of the bill, the differences were hammered out in a conference committee. The House then reapproved the bill on Wednesday before the Senate sent it to Gov. Tim Walz on Thursday.

It’s heading to the governor seven months after the SRO controversy first arose just before the start of a new school year. Some law enforcement officials then expressed concerns that changes made by state lawmakers last year to ban certain physical restraints on students wouldn’t allow SROs to do their jobs but would keep them liable for failing to intervene. That led some agencies to suspend their SRO programs, although many others continued their programs.

The clarifications will again allow more latitude for SROs while still prohibiting any school employees from placing students in the “prone” restraint. It will also require law enforcement agencies with an SRO program to have a written SRO policy and for SROs to undergo training.

The updates are set to take effect the day after Walz signs it into law.

Follow other legislation at the Capitol with KSTP’s Legislative Tracker.