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Bill would allow some school resource officers to restrain students

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The Highland Park school district is almost out of cash. The state is working on a solution to keep kids in school.

Michigan lawmakers are closer to exempting police officers from rules governing how unruly students can be handled in school.

State law requires public schools adopt policies on using seclusion and restraint and special training for school staff. 

However, State Representative Daniela Garcia says school resource officers, who are local police officers, should be exempt from those rules.

“There are times now where they think they have to call dispatch to have another officer come in because they feel their hands are tied,” Garcia testified before the Senate Education Committee. “They don’t know if they’re acting as a school resource officer or if they are acting as a law enforcement officer.”

The rule change would only affect school resource officers who are also local police officers or sheriff’s deputies. SRO’s who are not police officers would be required to receive the same training as school officials and operate under the same restraints.

The rule change has the support of numerous education and law enforcement groups.

The bill has passed the House.  The state Senate Education committee is expected to vote on the bill next week. 

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Radio since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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