Governor John Kasich signed HB 543, also known as the “Jason Flatt Act,” into law on December 20, 2012. The bill, originally sponsored by the mother of a suicide victim, requires school districts to provide in service training in youth suicide awareness and prevention to all teachers, nurses, counselors, school psychologists and administrators. Districts may also provide training to any other personnel deemed appropriate.
Each district is required to either adopt or adapt the curriculum developed by the Department of Education or develop its own curriculum in consultation with public or private agencies or persons involved in youth suicide awareness and prevention programs. The training will count toward professional development required by districts and may be accomplished through self-review of suitable prevention materials approved by the board.
The bill is named for a Tennessee student who committed suicide in 1997. His father has championed the Jason Foundation, Inc. since his son’s death and numerous other states have adopted similar versions of HB 543 as a result of the foundation’s lobbying efforts. The law goes into effect on March 22, 2013.
The full text of the law can be viewd at: http://www.legislature.state.oh.us/bills.cfm?ID=129_HB_543