House Bill 123
House Bill 123, which went into effect on March 24, 2021, is a piece of legislation enacted by Ohio’s 133rd General Assembly that aims to improve school safety and promote youth suicide awareness education and training. It is also known as the “Safety and Violence Education Students (SAVE Students) Act.”
The bill emphasizes the importance of a comprehensive approach to school safety that includes physical and emotional safety for students and educators and involves the Ohio Departments of Education, Public Safety, Mental Health and Addiction Services, and the Attorney General’s Office.
The SAVE Students act requires changes to our health curriculum.
House Bill 123 emphasizes the importance of a comprehensive approach to school safety, including physical and emotional safety for students and educators. Ohio schools must work with families and communities to create safe, caring learning and working environments. This approach includes implementing prevention curriculum, peer-led clubs, emergency management plans, and threat assessments—all of which can promote safety and well-being in Ohio schools.
House Bill 123/The SAVE Students Act requires school districts to address and implement programming for the following:
Emotional and physical safety requirements include integrating evidence-based suicide awareness, violence prevention, and social inclusion into the health curriculum. Each prevention program must be presented annually for 1 class period to students in grades 6-12.
Physical safety requirements provided by the SAVE Students Act include creating and implementing threat assessment teams and plans, including threat assessment plans and protocols into emergency management plans and using anonymous tip line reporting.
During the upcoming school year, students in grades 6-12 will participate in 1 class period on the following topics: Suicide Prevention, Violence Prevention, and Social Inclusion. Some of the programs that NRCS will be using include Signs of Suicide (SOS), Life Act, Erika’s Lighthouse and Sandy Hook Promise, Say Something and Start with Hello.
Starting in the 2021-2022 school year, Ohio school districts were required to register with the Safer Ohio School Tip Line operated by the Ohio Department of Public Safety or enter into an agreement with an anonymous reporting program of the district’s choosing. The reporting program must meet several requirements, including operating 24 hours per day, seven days per week, forwarding reported information to the appropriate school threat assessment teams and law enforcement and public safety agencies required under the school’s emergency management plan, and complying with Ohio law and federal law. NRCS utilizes the STOPIT App as a district and has submitted information to the Safer Ohio School Tip Line.
NRCS has successfully trained all required staff to complete Threat Assessments and to collaborate as teams when encountering challenging situations of threat involving our students. The district has also developed and implemented a school-wide process for identifying and supporting students experiencing a mental health crisis or suicidal thoughts or behaviors. We will continue to utilize the STOPit App as our anonymous reporting system. You can learn more about the STOPit App here.
The Ohio Department of Education’s website provides detailed information about the SAVE Students Act and its implementation, while the Ohio Legislature’s website provides the official text of the bill and its legislative history. Both websites are great resources for anyone who wants to learn more about the bill and its impact on Ohio’s education system.
If you have any questions about House Bill 123, you can reach out to anyone listed below.
Elizabeth Wolanski, Student Wellness and Prevention Coordinator
Jackie Vance, Director of Student Services
Jordan Andrews, 5-6 Counselor at NRAC
Grace Titgemeier, 7-8 Counselor at NRAC
Kathleen Brediger, 2-8 School Counselor at RHTA
Melissa O’Donnell, Freshman School Counselor
Amber Hunker, 10-12 School Counselor
Lora Baker, 10-12 School Counselor
Riley Doyle, 10-12 School Counselor
Tanya Coughlin, LSW, School Social Worker
Rachel Lahiff, LISW-S, School Social Worker