On Thursday, June 26, Governor Corbett signed Act 71 of 2014 into law – formerly HB 1559. This bill codifies school based suicide prevention and has the following provisions:
Beginning with the 2015-2016 school year, each school entity:
1. SHALL adopt an age-appropriate youth suicide awareness and prevention policy 2. SHALL include 4 hours of training in youth suicide awareness and prevention every 5 years for professional educators in grades 6-12 3. MAY incorporate a youth suicide awareness and prevention curriculum into its existing instructional programs.
The Department of Education SHALL:
1. Develop a model youth suicide awareness and prevention policy, in consultation with a youth suicide prevention organization 2. Develop a model youth suicide awareness and prevention curriculum and make it available to all school entities 3. Compile, develop, and post on its publicly accessible internet website guidelines and materials for training of educators and resources and age-appropriate educational material.
Link to bill:
(The Act also included sections of HB 19, which deals with child exploitation awareness education. It requires the Department of Education to develop a model child exploitation awareness curriculum which schools may adopt.)