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06/23/2024 03:15 AM
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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House of Representatives
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: February 6, 2023 03:34 PM
From: Representative Dan L. Miller and Rep. Jason Ortitay
To: All House members
Subject: Requiring Schools to Report Attempted & Committed Suicide Incidents
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention reported that, in 2020, suicide was the third leading cause of death for Pennsylvanians ages 10-24. While we have taken some positive steps to work to reduce suicide and enhance intervention procedures, including the enactment of Act 71 of 2014, it is important that we collect the most accurate data possible to appropriately monitor this issue.

That is why we are planning 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 whether to report that a student has tragically attempted to or has taken their life while on school grounds.

Additionally, our proposal would be subject to the requirements of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), which would 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 help to reduce the number of suicides.

Please join us in co-sponsoring this legislation.

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Introduced as HB346