From Archbishop Bernard A. Hebda
In the aftermath of Tuesday’s horrific shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, the Catholic bishops of Minnesota have asked Governor Walz and legislative leaders from both parties to call for a special session to pass Safe Schools legislation that stalled during the recently-ended 2022 Session. When we Catholic bishops met with lawmakers and the governor earlier this year, we were told there was bipartisan support for a legislative proposal on this topic: H.F. 4005/S.F. 3380. Although no legislation can stop the manifestation of evil, this Safe Schools legislation is an important, common-sense first step to establishing an ongoing funding source for schools to increase security staff, enhance building security, and strengthen violence prevention programs and mental health initiatives.
Passing this legislation now will allow public and non-public schools to take time this summer break to evaluate security measures and services to keep our kids safe and then begin the implementation process. If anything, the $44 per student funding allocation in the bill is too modest, and should be a starting point to ensure school security measures are adequately funded. Please contact Governor Walz and House and Senate leadership to call for special session for this Safe Schools legislation.
At the same time, please join me in seeking the intercession of Mary, who is both Our Lady of Sorrows and Queen of Peace, as we pray not only for the innocent children and school staff who were murdered Tuesday but also for peace for their families and their community.