Minnesota Republicans demand repeal of ban on student restraints as police pull out of schools


August 31, 2023

Eder Campuzano, Star Tribune

Blaine Police Chief Brian Podany joined Republican legislators Wednesday as they called for Gov. Tim Walz to convene a special session to repeal a law that bars school resource officers from using certain physical holds on students, which has led several law enforcement agencies to pull out of schools.

Minnesota's largest school district will lose all but one of its school resource officers by the time classes begin Tuesday amid uncertainty over a controversial new ban on student restraints that Republicans want to repeal.

GOP legislators, flanked by police from across the metro area, said during a news conference Wednesday that they want Gov. Tim Walz to call a special session to fix what they say is a harmful law that makes campuses less safe. The provision approved as part of the sweeping education bill in May restricts the kinds of physical holds police can place students in, and police have said it would force officers to call for backup from off-campus patrols rather than resolve problems quickly.

"In emergency situations, minutes matter. Seconds matter," said Sen. Zach Duckworth, R-Lakeville, noting that he raised concerns with the provisions during an Education Policy Committee meeting in February.



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