STAND. COM. REP. NO. 672
RE: S.B. No. 703
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirty-First State Legislature
Regular Session of 2021
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Judiciary, to which was referred S.B. No. 703 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO SUICIDE PREVENTION TRAINING,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to require two hours of annual in-service training in suicide prevention for all teachers, principals, and school counselors.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Education, Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Hawaii Association of School Psychologists, Parents And Children Together, Sutter Health Kāhi Mōhala, and one individual. Your Committee received comments on this measure from one individual.
Your Committee finds that suicide is the fourth leading cause of death for children between the ages of ten and fourteen, and is the leading cause of death for young people between the ages of fifteen and twenty-four. The percentage of teenagers in Hawaii who plan to commit suicide and the percentage of teenagers who attempt suicide are among the highest in the nation. Your Committee therefore recognizes that there is a need to increase the number of individuals in educational institutions, such as teachers, principals, and school counselors, who are trained to identify youth at risk of suicide and refer those children to appropriate services, counseling, and intervention. The Jason Flatt Act, first passed in Tennessee in 2007, requires all educators to complete youth suicide awareness and prevention training every year as part of their state licensure to teach. Your Committee finds that it is the appropriate time for Hawaii to enact similar legislation.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Judiciary that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 703 and recommends that it pass Third Reading.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Judiciary,
KARL RHOADS, Chair