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Saturday, June 14, 2014

Holocaust and Teen Suicide Education on House Agenda Next Week

Holocaust and Teen Suicide Education on House Agenda Next Week

The House returns to session on Monday, June 16. Live web streams of House session and the majority of committee meetings are available at PAHouseGOP.com. Important information and events may also be viewed by visiting Facebook.com/PAHouseGOP.

Teaching the Holocaust

Ensuring Pennsylvania students have the necessary materials to learn about horrific atrocities like The Holocaust, which could help to ensure these actions will never happen again, the House next week is scheduled to take up House Bill 1424 (Rep. Paul Clymer, R-Bucks), allowing schools to offer Holocaust and genocide instruction.

The bill will enable Pennsylvania schools to teach their students about the Holocaust, genocide and human rights violations in a consistent and effective manner. The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) would develop strong curriculum options to teach these subjects, and distribute the curriculum options to all Pennsylvania schools. Teacher training would also be provided by this legislation, as well as an assessment in two years.

The bill comes to the House “on concurrence,” which means, if passed, it will head the governor’s desk.

Teen Suicide Prevention

Legislation aimed at reducing school-aged suicides is scheduled to be taken up by the House next week.

The issue has been in the news all too often. House Bill 1559 (Rep. Frank Farina, D-Lackawanna/Wayne counties) would require all sixth- through 12th-grade teachers to receive four hours of Department of Education-approved suicide awareness and prevention training every five years. The training would fulfill a part of the regular professional continuing education training requirements under the state’s School Code. The bill also requires schools to establish a youth awareness and prevention policy within 90 days – PDE will develop a model policy for school districts. The policy would need to include reporting procedures and methods of prevention, intervention and postvention.

Also coming to the House on concurrence, and assuming the bill passes the House, it would take effect upon the governor’s signature, which would require school districts to have training and educational information ready for the 2014-15 school year.

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