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      RS 17:437.1     


§437.1. Suicide prevention; in-service training; materials and supplies; limitation on liability

            A. The State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education shall develop and adopt guidelines for in-service training in suicide prevention as provided for in Subsection B of this Section. The board, in coordination with the Louisiana Department of Health, shall identify suitable programs for use in such training. The state Department of Education shall post on its website a listing of approved programs. The list shall include instructions on accessing such programs. The board shall update the list every five years.

            B.(1) The board shall adopt rules to require that all public and approved nonpublic school teachers, school counselors, and principals and, as determined by the board, other school administrators for whom such training is deemed beneficial participate annually in at least two hours of in-service training in suicide prevention. Such rules shall include provisions permitting such training to be provided by self-review of suitable materials.

            (2) The training shall address the following:

            (a) Increasing awareness of risk factors including but not limited to the following:

            (i) Mental health and substance abuse conditions.

            (ii) Childhood abuse, neglect, and trauma.

            (iii) Potential causes of stress, such as bullying, harassment, and relationship problems.

            (iv) Secondary trauma from a suicide or sensationalized or graphic accounts of suicide in media.

            (v) History of suicide attempts and related family history.

            (b) How teachers should respond to suspicious behavior or warning signs exhibited by students.

            (c) How teachers should respond to a crisis situation in which a student is an imminent danger to himself.

            (d) Policies and protocol for communication with parents, including specifications for circumstances in which parental notification is not in the best interest of the student.

            (e) Counseling services available within the school for students and their families related to suicide prevention.

            (f) Dissemination of information concerning crisis intervention, suicide prevention, and mental health services in the community for students and their families and school employees.

            (g) Community organizations and agencies for referral of students to health, mental health, substance abuse, and social support services, including development of at least one memorandum of understanding between the school system and such an entity in the community or region.

            C.(1) No person shall have a cause of action for any loss or damage caused by any act or omission resulting from the implementation of or good faith attempt to implement the provisions of this Section or resulting from any training or lack thereof required by this Section, unless such loss or damage was caused by willful or wanton misconduct.

            (2) Neither the training required by this Section nor the lack thereof shall be construed to impose any specific duty of care.

            D.(1) The State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education shall randomly survey employees of public and approved nonpublic secondary schools to ascertain their compliance with the suicide prevention training requirements of this Section.

            (2) The governing authority of each such secondary school shall document and verify to the state Department of Education, by December thirty-first of each year, that all school employees have received the mandatory suicide prevention training as outlined in this Section.

            (3) The board shall annually develop a written report of the survey findings and any recommendations and shall submit such report to the Senate Committee on Education, the House Committee on Education, the Senate Committee on Health and Welfare, and the House Committee on Health and Welfare not later than March first of each year.

            E. This Section shall be known and may be cited as the "Jason Flatt Act".

            Acts 2008, No. 219, §1, eff. June 16, 2008; Acts 2017, No. 86, §1; Acts 2019, No. 93, §1.

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