Mo. Gov. Signs Suicide Prevention, Anti-Bullying Bill

The bill adds teacher training requirements and will change many district’s bullying policies.

School districts in Missouri will be required to have suicide prevention and anti-bullying policies in place by 2018 under a bill signed into law June 3.

Governor Jay Nixon says he signed House Bill 1583 because he wants teachers to have the training and resources they need to keep students safe at school, reports

The bill requires teachers to receive two hours of training in suicide awareness and prevention by the 2017-2018 school year. The bill also adds cyberbullying to the state’s statutes regarding anti-bullying policies.

RELATED: Researchers: Stop Zero-Tolerance Bullying Policies

“This is an important piece of legislation that can improve and save lives,” Governor Nixon says.

The bill defines bullying as “intimidation, unwanted aggressive behavior or harassment that is repetitive or substantially likely to be repeated and causes a reasonable student to fear for his or her safety or property; substantially interferes with the educational performance, opportunities, or benefits of any student without exception; or substantially disrupts the orderly operation of the school.”

Student handbooks must clearly forbid such bullying, whether online or in person, by the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year.

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