Due to recent changes in state law, and subsequent legal opinions, the Wayzata Police Department will suspend placing a school resource officer within the Wayzata West Middle School during the coming school year.
The suspension will remain in place until the law is changed. In the meantime, the Wayzata Police Department will continue to work with the Wayzata School District to provide services to the Wayzata West Middle School related to safety and security. During the suspension, the officer previously assigned will be reassigned to the Patrol Division.
The changes in state law apply to school resource officers and law enforcement and security personnel who are acting as agents of the schools. The law does not apply to police officers who are not under a school contract.
About the Changes in State Law
Recent changes to Minnesota Statute 121A prohibit or limit an SRO’s ability to physically intervene, de-escalate situations, separate fighting students, restrain/control fighting students, or hold aggressors on the floor.
The changes to state law were included in the Education Omnibus bill passed during the most recent legislative session and went into effect Aug. 1.
“Our main objective is to keep the students and staff in our schools safe, but we also have an obligation to our officers who have trained over the course of their careers to react appropriately and only with a reasonable amount of force when needed,” said Wayzata Police Chief Marc Schultz. “These new laws passed by recent legislation subject SRO’s, the school, and the police department to much greater liability. We hope and intend to re-instate the school resource officer position in the future when the law is changed.”