D.C. Law 21-120. Youth Suicide Prevention and School Climate Survey Amendment Act of 2016.

D.C. Law 21-120. Youth Suicide Prevention and School Climate Survey Amendment Act of 2016.

AN ACT

To amend the Department of Mental Health Establishment Amendment Act of 2001 to require all teachers and principals in public schools and public charter schools to complete the youth behavioral health program once every 2 years; to amend the State Education Office Establishment Act of 2000 to require the Office of the State Superintendent of Education ("OSSE") to develop and publish online written guidance to assist local education agencies in developing and adopting policies and procedures for handling aspects of mental and behavioral health for students, to require OSSE to develop and annually publish online a catalogue of all professional development and training programs offered, to require OSSE to establish a pilot program for select District of Columbia public schools and public charter schools serving students in grades 7-10 to administer annual school climate surveys, and to require OSSE to annually report on school climate survey data.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, That this act may be cited as the "Youth Suicide Prevention and School Climate Survey Amendment Act of 2016".

Note § 7-1131.17

Sec. 2. Section 115b of the Department of Mental Health Establishment Amendment Act of 2001, effective June 7, 2012 (D.C. Law 19-141; D.C. Official Code § 7-1131.17), is amended as follows:

Amend § 7-1131.17

(a) Subsection (a) is amended as follows:

(1) Paragraph (1) is amended by striking the word "and" at the end.

(2) Paragraph (2) is amended by striking the period and inserting the phrase "; and" in its place.

(3) A new paragraph (3) is added to read as follows:

"(3) Recognize the warning signs and risk factors for youth suicide and implement best practices for suicide prevention, suicide intervention, and suicide postvention.".

Amend § 7-1131.17

(b) Subsection (b)(1) is amended by striking the phrase "Starting October 1, 2014, completion of the program shall be mandatory for all:" and inserting the phrase "Starting October 1, 2016, completion of the program shall be mandatory once every 2 years for all:" in its place.

Amend § 7-1131.17

(c) A new subsection (e) is added to read as follows:

"(e) For the purposes of this section, the term:

"(1) "Suicide intervention" means specific actions schools can take in response to student suicidal behavior, including:

"(A) Student supervision;

"(B) Notification of parents or guardians;

"(C) Crisis-response protocols;

"(D) When and how to request an immediate mental health assessment or emergency services; and

"(E) School re-entry procedures following a student mental health crisis.

"(2) "Suicide postvention" means planned support and interventions schools can implement after a suicide attempt or suicide death of a member of the school community that are designed to:

"(A) Reduce the risk of suicide contagion;

"(B) Provide support for affected students and school-based personnel;

"(C) Address the social stigma associated with suicide; and

"(D) Disseminate factual information about suicide.

"(3) "Suicide prevention" means specific actions schools can take to recognize and reduce suicidal behavior, including:

"(A) Identifying risk and protective factors for suicide and suicide warning signs;

"(B) Establishing a process by which students are referred to a behavioral health provider for help;

"(C) Making available school-based and community-based mental health supports;

"(D) Providing the location of available online and community suicide prevention resources, including local crisis centers and hotlines; and

"(E) Adopting policies and protocols regarding suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention, school safety, and crisis response.".

Note § 38-2602

Sec. 3. Section 3(b) of the State Education Office Establishment Act of 2000, effective October 21, 2000 (D.C. Law 13-176; D.C. Official Code § 38-2602(b)), is amended as follows:

Amend § 38-2602

(a) Paragraph (23) is amended by striking the word "and" at the end.

Amend § 38-2602

(b) Paragraph (24)(F) is amended by striking the period and inserting a semicolon in its place.

Amend § 38-2602

(c) New paragraphs (25), (26), and (27) are added to read as follows:

"(25)(A) Develop and publish online written guidance to assist LEAs in developing and adopting policies and procedures for handling aspects of student mental and behavioral health. The written guidance shall include model policies for identifying, appropriately supporting, and referring to behavioral health service providers students with mental and behavioral health concerns, and model policies for suicide prevention, suicide intervention, and suicide postvention, especially for at-risk youth sub-groups.

"(B) OSSE shall examine its guidance on mental and behavioral health in schools at least every 5 years and update its guidance as needed. Within 30 days of updating its guidance, OSSE shall notify LEAs of the update.

"(C) For the purposes of this paragraph, the term:

"(i) "At-risk youth sub-groups" means:

"(I) Youth living with mental illness or substance-use disorders;

"(II) Youth who engage in self-harm or have attempted suicide;

"(III) Youth in out-of-home settings;

"(IV) Youth experiencing homelessness;

"(V) Youth who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning;

"(VI) Youth bereaved by suicide; and

"(VII) Other populations identified as at-risk of suicide in the most recent DC Youth Risk Behavior Survey results.

"(ii) "Suicide intervention" means specific actions schools can take in response to student suicidal behavior, including:

"(I) Student supervision;

"(II) Notification of parents or guardians;

"(III) Crisis-response protocols;

"(IV) When and how to request an immediate mental health assessment or emergency services; and

"(V) School re-entry procedures following a student mental health crisis.

"(iii) "Suicide postvention" means planned support and interventions schools can implement after a suicide attempt or suicide death of a member of the school community that are designed to:

"(I) Reduce the risk of suicide contagion;

"(II) Provide support for affected students and school-based personnel;

"(III) Address the social stigma associated with suicide; and

"(IV) Disseminate factual information about suicide.

"(iv) "Suicide prevention" means specific actions schools can take to recognize and reduce suicidal behavior, including:

"(I) Identifying risk and protective factors for suicide and suicide warning signs;

"(II) Establishing a process by which students are referred to a behavioral health provider for help;

"(III) Making available school-based and community-based mental health supports;

"(IV) Providing the location of available online and community suicide prevention resources, including local crisis centers and hotlines; and

"(V) Adopting policies and protocols regarding suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention, school safety, and crisis response;

"(26)(A) Develop and publish a publicly accessible online catalogue of all professional development or training programs offered by OSSE. For each professional development or training program, the catalogue shall include the following:

"(i) Date, time, and location of program sessions;

"(ii) A program description;

"(iii) The number of seats available per session of the program;

"(iv) Prerequisites for a particular session or program; and

"(v) Instructions for registration.

"(B) By June 30 of each year, beginning in 2017, OSSE shall publicly release its catalogue of professional development and training programs offered for the upcoming school year, and it shall periodically update the catalogue as additional programs are added; and

"(27)(A) Beginning in school year 2016-2017 and continuing through school year 2019-2020, implement a pilot program at select District of Columbia public schools and public charter schools for collecting school climate data through school climate surveys.

"(B) Pursuant to the pilot program, participating District of Columbia public schools and public charter schools, in conjunction with OSSE, shall annually issue a school climate survey to enrolled students in grades 7-10, school-based personnel, and the parents or legal guardians of enrolled students in grades 7-10.

"(C) Based on the survey data obtained pursuant to the pilot program described in subparagraph (A) of this paragraph, OSSE shall annually analyze school climate in the District and report its findings to the Mayor and the Council no later than October 1 following the school year in which the climate data was collected. Each annual report shall include an analysis of school climate data in light of participating schools’ student demographics, to be measured, at a minimum, by students’:

"(i) Race or ethnicity;

"(ii) Gender;

"(iii) Status as an English language learner;

"(iv) Status as a student with an individualized education program; and

"(v) Status as an at-risk student, as defined by section 102(2A) of the Uniform Per Student Funding Formula for Public Schools and Public Charter Schools Act of 1998, effective March 26, 1999 (D.C. Law 12-207; D.C. Official Code § 38-2901(2A)).

"(D) By December 1, 2019, OSSE shall submit to the Council a plan to expand school climate surveys to all District of Columbia public schools and public charter schools serving any grade 6-12, beginning in school year 2020-2021.

"(E) For the purposes of this paragraph, the term "school climate survey" means a comprehensive Internet-based survey platform designed to be implemented by local education agencies to collect data from students, parents, and school staff on 3 key domains of school climate:

"(i) Engagement, including cultural and linguistic competence, relationships, and participation;

"(ii) Safety, including emotional safety, physical safety, bullying and cyberbullying, substance use, and emergency readiness and management; and

"(iii) Environment, including physical environment, instructional environment, physical health, mental health, and discipline.".

Sec. 4. Applicability.

(a) This act shall apply upon the date of inclusion of its fiscal effect in an approved budget and financial plan.

(b) The Chief Financial Officer shall certify the date of the inclusion of the fiscal effect in an approved budget and financial plan, and provide notice to the Budget Director of the Council of the certification.

(c)(1) The Budget Director shall cause the notice of the certification to be published in the District of Columbia Register.

(2) The date of publication of the notice of the certification shall not affect the applicability of this act.

Sec. 5. Fiscal impact statement.

The Council adopts the fiscal impact statement in the committee report as the fiscal impact statement required by section 4a of the General Legislative Procedures Act of 1975, approved October 16, 2006 (120 Stat. 2038; D.C. Official Code § 1-301.47a).

Sec. 6. Effective date.