The Legislature's Judiciary Committee voted Friday to forward a bill governing school resource officers to the full Legislature on a 6-0 vote. 

Sen. Tom Brandt of Plymouth was present not voting at the executive session and Omaha Sen. Ernie Chambers was absent. 

The bill (LB390), introduced by Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks of Lincoln, would mandate memorandums of understanding that delineate the role of the officers and require training and data collection to evaluate the program. It would require a minimum of 20 hours of training for law enforcement officers and at least one administrator and teacher at each school.

The training would cover school law, student rights, understanding special-needs students, conflict resolution and de-escalation techniques, ethics for school resource officers, teenage brain development, adolescent behavior, diversity and cultural awareness, implicit bias, trauma-informed responses and preventing violence in school settings.

The memorandums also would require that records be kept on student referrals for prosecution, broken down by federally identified characteristics such as race, gender and disabilities, specify that noncriminal matters should be handled by school administrators, dictate when parents should be notified and at what point students should be advised of their constitutional rights.

It would also allow for a complaint process for parents if they have concerns about what happened with their students involving school resource officers. 

Chambers introduced a bill (LB589) that would keep resource officers out of schools, and Pansing Brooks said she understands his view, but in reality, the school resource officer train has left the station.

And the state has to have laws that tell the schools they are in charge of disciplinary matters and law enforcement is in charge of legal matters, Pansing Brooks said.  

"The schools can no longer give the disciplinary matters to the police and then put kids in the school-to-prison pipeline," Pansing Brooks said.

Be the first to know - Sign up for Breaking News

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Reach the writer at 402-473-7228 or jyoung@journalstar.com

On Twitter @LJSLegislature.


State government reporter

JoAnne Young covers state government, including the Legislature and state agencies, and the people they serve.

Load comments