Law enforcement questioning controversial SRO law
(ABC 6 News) – The student discipline laws prohibit school staff from using certain physical holds and restraints on students.
Law enforcement has expressed concerns the change will impact their ability to do their jobs.
Attorney General Keith Ellison this week issued an opinion saying SRO’s can use reasonable force but now some are questioning what force is considered reasonable and what isn’t.
“The law is written to provide, there’s exceptions to students health risk to them, risk to the police so it is not being interpreted correctly and that they certainly have the authority to do that,” Governor Tim Walz said.
We’ve learned at least two Minnesota law enforcement agencies have now suspended or ended their SRO programs with their local school districts including the Anoka sheriff’s office and the Moorhead police department.
Rochester Senator Liz Boldon helped create the law.
She said the issue of reasonable force will be decided on a case-by-case basis.
“Schools annually will have to report when restraints are used so we can know what’s happening and how often it’s used.”
Up in Anoka, the county attorney wrote a letter saying the law creates too many significant risks, liabilities, and uncertainties.
We reached out to local law enforcement and school districts.
Rochester Public Schools said it’s awaiting further guidance from the Minnesota Department of Education.
The police chief in Austin said he’s in contact with the district.
They are aware of the changes but said the situation is too fluid to say more.