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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: December 15, 2020 12:20 PM
From: Representative Dan L. Miller and Rep. Jason Ortitay
To: All House members
Subject: Requiring Schools to Report Attempted & Committed Suicide Incidents
In the near future, we plan to re-introduce legislation that would require each school district in Pennsylvania to report all attempted and committed suicide incidents that occur on school property to the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Office of Safe Schools within 72 hours of the school becoming aware of the incident.

Currently, submitting such information is optional. In essence, we require school districts to report a criminal charge from a pushing match in the cafeteria, but we leave it entirely to their discretion to report that a student has tragically attempted to or has taken their life while on school grounds.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention reported that in 2015 suicide was the third leading cause of death for Pennsylvanians ages 10-24. While we have taken some positive steps such as Act 71 of 2014 to work to reduce suicide and enhance intervention procedures, it is important that we collect as accurate data as possible to appropriately monitor this issue.

Additionally, our proposal would be subject to the requirements of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 to ensure that such reporting by districts does not reveal identifying information concerning any individual student.
By mandating school reporting of attempted and committed suicides, we will have a better understanding as to the scope of this problem which will hopefully lead us to new ideas that will reduce suicide.

Please join us in co-sponsoring this legislation.

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Introduced as HB247