Beefing up security at schools needs to be done now

Chris Swedzinski’s half-hearted endorsement of Gov. Mark Dayton’s proposed Safe and Secure Schools Act is a good sign that maybe something will get done this Legislative session on addressing keeping students safe on campuses throughout the state.

Of course, the recent mass school shooting in Florida has sparked the movement to think about beefing up security inside schools nationwide.

Dayton on Wednesday proposed $20.9 million in funding for safety and security enhancements along with mental health improvements in Minnesota schools. Dayton’s proposal would provide $15.9 million in needed revenue to enhance safety for students, teachers, parents and staff throughout the state.

Marshall Public Schools Superintendent Scott Monson welcomed Dayton’s proposal.

“Given the opportunity for new funding for school safety, every school district will find productive ways to improve the safety of their sites,” Monson said.

Swedzinski, a Republican state representative from Ghent, said he saw common ground between what the governor proposed and what Republicans will support.

The governor is also separately calling for stricter gun laws, such as expanding background checks and raising the age to buy assault weapons to 21. Of course, those proposals will have a more difficult time gaining steam during the Legislative session.

In the meantime, adding more security measures inside schools is long overdue. And it needs to start now.