Senate Bill 2306, prime sponsored by Senator Joan Heckaman, D-New Rockford, passed the North Dakota House and Senate and was signed by the Governor earlier this month.
The bill relates to youth suicide prevention training and states the following:
"Once every two years, each school district shall provide to middle school and high school teachers and administrators at least two hours of professional development relating to your suicide risk indicators, appropriate staff responses and referral sources."
The bill goes on to state that the Superintendent of Public Instruction shall collaborate with the State Department of Health in order to disseminate the appropriate training materials and information.
"This bill has the potential to do so much good. Not only for our teachers and students, but for families and communities," Heckaman said. "The effects of suicide are not exclusive; they are far-reaching and giving teachers the tools to detect warning signs can potentially mean the difference between life and death."
"I am elated that the bill received such a wide range of support and has now been signed by the Governor," Heckaman added. "I also send thanks to the school districts and teachers that will implement this strategy, we ask a lot from our educators and their profession, in its essence, means they look out for the best interest of children and can be trusted to take the warning signs of suicide seriously once trained."
The bill will go into effect August 1, 2013. It passed the both chambers with unanimous support.