STAND. COM. REP. NO. 76

 

Honolulu, Hawaii

 

RE: S.B. No. 703

 

 

 

Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Thirty-First State Legislature

Regular Session of 2021

State of Hawaii

 

Sir:

 

Your Committee on Education, 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 Hawaii Disability Rights Center, E Ola Hou Prevent Suicide Maui County Task Force, and three individuals. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Department of Education and Committee of the Prevent Suicide Hawaii Taskforce.

 

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 Education 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 Second Reading and be referred to your Committee on Judiciary.

 

Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Education,

 

 

 

________________________________

MICHELLE N. KIDANI, Chair