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Relating to a suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention
program for certain public elementary schools.
No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.
HB 2954 would require the Texas Education Agency to develop a program for suicide intervention, prevention, and postvention for optional implementation at an elementary campus of a district school or open-enrollment charter school.
Texas Action opposes HB 2954 which would expand mental health services on elementary school campuses to include screening of students and notifications sent to parents "of a need for suicide prevention, intervention, or postvention so that a parent or guardian may take appropriate action."
Screening of students in this manner should only take place if parents have first proactively opted in to allow it. There should also be very clear language stating that a parent is under no obligation to agree with or take action based on receipt of a notice and that refusal to take action based on a notice can not be used as grounds for CPS to investigate or intervene in the parent-child relationship.
A school district or open-enrollment charter school which participates in this program and which sends a notice to parents under the provisions of this bill should be strictly prohibited from harassing or badgering parents about their response to the notice. Families have many ways of dealing with these types of situations that are not always consistent with the will or desire of people in the mental health field. Families should never be in fear of retribution if they do not follow guidance or recommendations made under the auspices of a program such as that proposed by HB 2954.