Governor Daniel J. McKee signed the Nathan Bruno and Jason Flatt Act (H5353) into law on July 2, 2021, making Rhode Island the 21st stat to pass the Jason Flatt Act since 2007. The Bill was sponsored by Sen. James A Seveney and Rep. Terri Cortvriend.
The Nathan Bruno and Jason Flatt Act
Effective July 2, 2021
This act would create the “Nathan Bruno and Jason Flatt Act” which would require training of teachers, students and all school personnel regarding suicide awareness and prevention, and the establishment of a conflict resolution process between teachers or school personnel and students.
Major components of the legislation are:
- The department of education shall adopt rules and regulations supporting suicide awareness and prevention training each year for public school personnel and students.
- Training shall be required of all personnel hired or contracted by the school district, including, but not limited to, teachers, administration, custodians, lunch personnel, substitutes, nurses, coaches and coaching staff, even if volunteers. The training shall occur every year.
- Training shall be required of all students starting in grade six (6) and through grade twelve (12) each academic year.
- Approved training materials and instruction shall include training on how to identify appropriate mental health services both within the school and the larger community, and when and how to refer youth and their families to those services.
- Each public school district shall adopt a policy on student suicide prevention. This policy shall, at a minimum, address procedures relating to suicide prevention, intervention and
12 postvention. For the purposes of this chapter, “postvention” means counseling, or other social care given to students after another student’s suicide or attempted suicide. Postvention also means counseling to students that have made a suicide attempt or have reported ideation, this counseling shall consist of regular check-ins. For the purposes of this chapter, “regular” means a frequency as determined by a licensed mental health professional.