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Reaction to suicide prevention bill

The goal of the bill is to provide school officials with the knowledge to identify the signs and symptoms of students experiencing a mental issue.

Posted: Feb. 21, 2018 7:42 PM

MASON CITY, Iowa - Jeremy White teaches at Mason City High School.

When he learned about the new bill in Iowa proposing all educators to take a 60-minute course on suicide prevention, he immediately questioned whether 60 minutes is long enough.

"I think it is a great idea for all educators to know more about mental health and know more about suicide ideation. I don't know if one hour is enough. I think that it takes a longer time and if it's done all online I don’t know if that will get the effectiveness that they would want,” says White.

The goal of the bill is to provide school officials with the knowledge to identify the signs and symptoms of students experiencing a mental issue.

“My role as an adult is to go and get them the help that they need so that's a big thing that students will share if you build a relationship,” says White.

Even students like freshman Kylie Hansen are in favor of the bill.

"I feel like taking this course for teachers would be just proactive and help prevent suicides from happening in the future."

She says the more information the teachers have on suicide the better they can help students who may be struggling.

"They know that their teachers are someone they can trust and someone that teachers might understand a little bit better from taking the course now."

As for White, he says his ultimate goal as an educator is to make sure he can save as many teens as he can.

"I hope that teachers are more aware and build that relationship with their students and I hope that if it can save one students life that's the major thing.”

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