Talking Points: How are we going to keep kids safe at schools?

Talking Points: How are we going to keep kids safe at schools? (part 1)

MINNEAPOLIS-- The battle over school resource officers continues.

At issue: The language of a new law that restricts what kind of holds school officers can use on violent students.

In Lino Lakes, Jessie Taylor, a mother of a Centennial Lakes Middle School student, is upset and worries that officers aren't in her daughter Tru's school.

"I disagree with the fact that they are not allowed in the schools anymore. I feel that's a huge step backwards in the school district. I know for me, I want my daughter to feel protected and safe in school. And that's what they brought to the table," said Taylor.  

Talking Points: How are we going to keep kids safe at schools? (part 2)

St. Louis Park is among the school districts where the police department has pulled their officers and that's just fine with Ali Alowonle, a mother of three St. Louis Park students.    

"I am a firm believer that we do not need police in the schools," said Alowonle, "I'm a big proponent of not having school resource officers in the schools, there is no data to show that they had faith. In fact, all the data shows that there's racial disparities when it comes to who is punished, leading to this pipeline. And having black biracial children myself, I'm very protective."

There is the underreported reality that in the aftermath of of George Floyd's murder, some school districts, including St. Paul and Minneapolis, terminated their SRO programs.

North High football coach Charles Adams was an SRO for 13 years in the district. In his new book, "Twin Cities: My Life as a Black Cop and a Championship Coach" he says he is haunted by not being able to be an SRO at North High.  

Talking Points: How are we going to keep kids safe at schools? (part 3)

"With the tragedy in our community, that if I was around, a lot of the things, some of those things probably wouldn't happen. And, like I said, I don't think that's fair," said Adams.

This week, law enforcement officers from around the state are calling for a special session to address the law. 

READ MORE: Police, school officials reiterate call for special session over SRO Flap

Joining the call is Republican state Rep. Jeff Witte, who served as the Burnsville Police school resource officer for four years. He says the new law was created in a way that keeps schools less safe.

"We all know that a safe learning environment leads to better academic outcomes. And our school resource officers help address behavioral issues, but also mental health issues or crisis that may may come a play," said Rep. Witte. "The safety of thousands of students, teachers and staff will be impacted by this law."

Talking Points airs every Wednesday and Thursday at 6:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., live on CBS News Minnesota.

NOTE: Below is a preview of Talking Points presented on "The 4."

How many schools had SROs before the new law went into effect?

Read more

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