New law allows Minnesota students to opt out of shooter drills


Starting this school year, Minnesota teachers and families can expect to see changes in the way schools prepare for the possibility that an armed intruder enters their building.

Active shooter simulations — where school staff, police officers and others act out an attack at a school by a person with a gun using effects such as fake gunshots or blood — can’t take place on a day when more than half of students are expected to be present at school. And students won’t be required to participate, under a law that takes effect Tuesday.

Families will have to be notified at least 24 hours before a school puts on an active shooter drill, which wouldn’t include those elements made to make it feel real. Those conducting the drill will also have to announce that the drill is not a real intruder situation. Students will be allowed to opt out of the drills, and schools will be required to provide time for classes to debrief and offer mental health support.


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