Put student safety first

Put student safety first

To the Editor:

Recently, Minnesota House Republicans highlighted a comprehensive plan designed to prioritize student safety. The changes are necessary. No student should fear going to school, and the proposals that are moving forward in the House will undoubtedly make our schools safer.

The approach includes more resources to meet the needs of students and schools statewide, and includes everything from hiring more school resource officers, student counselors and mental health professionals, to making critical building security upgrades.

The proposals making headway in the House that will be included in the larger proposal:

o School resources officers, student support personnel and other school security programs funded through increased Safe Schools revenue, including a minimum level of funding for small schools.

o School building security upgrades, and expanded use of long-term facility maintenance revenue for security projects, including emergency communications systems.

o School-linked mental health programing to ensure better outcomes for all kids.

o Physical security audit grants to provide state assistance to review facility security and crisis management policies.

o Suicide prevention training for teachers to help educators learn how to engage and assist students experiencing mental distress.

o School-based threat assessment teams established to assess, intervene and report threats facing students, teachers and staff.

State Rep. Bob Gunther

R-Fairmont

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