SB 1029 - This act modifies several provisions relating to suicide awareness and prevention and school antibullying policies.
SHOW-ME COMPASSIONATE MEDICAL EDUCATION ACT
The Show-Me Compassionate Medical Education Research Project Committee (the Committee), established by the act, shall designate a date to be determined as the Show-Me Compassionate Medical Education Day. (Section 9.154)
No medical school in this state shall discourage or otherwise restrict a medical student organization or medical organization from conducting a study on the prevalence of depression and suicide or other mental issues among medical students. (Section 191.594)
Medical schools in this state may, in collaboration with the Committee, conduct studies in order to facilitate the collection of data and implement practices and protocols to minimize stress and reduce the risk of depression and suicide for medical students.
The Committee shall meet initially on August 28, 2016, and shall prepare an annual report that includes information on any studies conducted under this act. The report shall be made available on each medical school's website and to the General Assembly. (Section 191.596)
These provisions are identical to HB 1658 (2016) and to provisions contained in HCS/SS/SB 621 (2016), and are substantially similar to provisions contained in HCS/HB 867 (2015).
This act modifies the requirements for school antibullying policies. The definition of "bullying" is modified to include intimidation or harassment that substantially interferes with the educational performance, opportunities, or benefits of any student without exception, or that substantially disrupts the orderly operation of the school. Bullying by students is prohibited on school property, at school functions, or on school buses. Cyberbullying is defined in the act.
This act requires that antibullying policies treat all students equally. Each school district's antibullying policy must be included in the student handbook, as described in the act. School districts must instruct their school counselors and school psychologists to educate students who are victims of bullying on techniques to overcome the negative effects of bullying. School districts must also implement programs and other initiatives to prevent bullying, respond to such conduct so as to not stigmatize a victim, and to make resources or referrals available to victims of bullying.
Any school district may subject a student to discipline for cyberbullying. The district will have jurisdiction to prohibit cyberbullying that originates off the school's campus if it was reasonably foreseeable that the electronic communication would reach the school's campus or there is a sufficient nexus between the electronic communication and the school, as described in the act. A district may also prohibit cyberbullying that occurs outside the district to the greatest extent allowed by law, as described in the act. A district may contact law enforcement and take other appropriate actions to protect students and clarify district expectations.
Each district must annually review its antibullying policy and revise as necessary.
Each district must report the number of confirmed reported bullying incidents in each school in the district as well as aggregated district-level data to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. The Department must post this information on its website but must not release any confidential information. (Section 160.775)
These provisions are similar to SB 728 (2016), SB 748 (2016), SB 1029 (2016), SB 560 (2014), and to a provision contained in SCS/HCS/HB 1583 (2016), and are substantially similar to SB 440 (2015), SS/SCS/HB 458 (2015), HCS/HB 134 (2013), and HCS/HB 1049 (2012).
SUICIDE AWARENESS AND PREVENTION
Beginning in the 2017-2018 school year, any licensed educator may annually complete up to two hours of training or professional development in youth suicide awareness and prevention as part of the professional development hours required for State Board of Education certification.
The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education shall develop guidelines for training or professional development in youth suicide awareness and prevention. The Department shall also develop materials that may be used for such training or professional development.
Each district shall adopt a policy for youth suicide awareness and prevention by July 1, 2018. The Department develop a model policy by July 1, 2017, that districts may adopt. The Department shall cooperate, consult with, and seek input from organizations that have expertise in youth suicide awareness and prevention. By July 1, 2021, and at least every three years thereafter, the Department shall request information and seek feedback from districts on their experience with the policy for youth suicide awareness and prevention. The Department shall review this information and may use it to adapt the department's model policy. The Department shall post the information it receives from districts on its website. The Department shall not post any confidential information or any information that personally identifies a student or school employee. (Sections 170.047 and 170.048)
This provision is identical to identical to SCS/SB 646 (2016) and to a provision contained in HCS/SCS/SB 904 (2016), SS/SCS/HCS/HB 2379 (2016), SB 1029 (2010), and SCS/HCS/HB 1583 (2016), and is substantially similar to HB 1546 (2016) and SB 328 (2015), and to a provision contained in SB 1029 (2016), HCS/SCS/SB 146 (2015), and SCS/SB 328 (2015).