Suicide prevention focus of Senate bill 

Teachers and other school district employees who work with students in grades 7-12 would have to undergo suicide awareness and prevention training under a bill being considered by Alaska lawmakers.

The measure, sponsored by Sen. Bettye Davis of Anchorage, is aimed at helping educators recognize the danger signs of a student in crisis, and intervene.

The training would apply to teachers, administrators, counselors and specialists.

SB137 this week passed the Senate Education Committee. It now goes to Senate Finance.

Education committee co-chair Kevin Meyer says suicide is the leading cause of death for Alaskans younger than 50 years old. He says the state's kids deserve a better chance at life, and he says this training is a critical step forward in that process.

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