Healthy Students

March 23, 2017 | Legislation Addressing Student Athlete Safety and Suicide Awareness Passes House Health Committee

Adam Pridemore | NCASA - Two bills designed to increase the health and safety of students gained approval in the House Health Committee this week and will head to the House Education K-12 Committee for further consideration.

House Bill 116 directs the State Board of Education and LEAs to ensure that all students who participate in school athletic activities are educated on sudden cardiac arrest and heat-illness. The bill directs the State Board to develop guidelines and materials for LEAs to provide to both students and parents on an annual basis. The bill further requires that the head coach or athletic director for each athletic activity be CPR-certified and present during all athletic activities. Additionally, the bill directs LEAs to adopt a heat stroke prevention protocol which provides for the removal from athletic activity of a student exhibiting signs of heat stroke or heat exhaustion until the student is cleared to return by a licensed health care professional or emergency action plan member.

The second bill, House Bill 285, directs the State Board of Education, in consultation with the Division of Public Health in the Department of Health and Human Services, to develop a youth suicide awareness and training program and a model risk referral protocol for LEAs and charter schools. LEAs would be required to provide the training program and protocol to school personnel who work directly with students in grades 6-12 within 12 months of employment and every 5 years thereafter. The instruction must include at least 2 hours of evidence-based instruction to increase awareness of suicide, risk factors and signs, and information for referral to resources and support. The bill authorizes LEAs to develop their own training and protocol requirements so long as they meet specified requirements.