HARRISBURG, Feb. 5 – State Rep. Frank Farina, D-Lackawanna/Wayne, announced his bill,H.B. 1559, aimed at reducing school-aged suicides unanimously passed the state Senate.
“This is a big step for the commonwealth of Pennsylvania,” Farina said. “I want to thank the Senate for working in a bipartisan manner for the greater good and putting the safety of our children in the forefront. Everyone who has been a part of this legislation has been a part of something bigger than ourselves. We can rest our heads at night and think that somebody will enjoy another sunrise tomorrow because of our efforts today.
“Our teachers observe our children for up to eight hours a day, 180 days a year. They are in a unique position to observe student moods, behavior and peer interactions. This bill will ensure our teachers receive the necessary training to observe potential suicidal behavior and, hopefully, prevent the pain and suffering for many families and friends of our youth by heading off potential suicides.”
The House will now have to reconsider the amended version of the bill before it can be presented to the governor.
Should the bill become law, it would take effect July 1, and would require school districts to have training and educational information ready for the 2015-16 school year.