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Suicide prevention measures should be implemented

Public schools already are overwhelmed with mandates requiring them to devote time and resources to special initiatives. Now, the Ohio House of Representatives wants middle and high schools to do more to prevent suicide among children.

Do we really need that? Judge for yourself:

Suicide is the second most common cause of death for Americans in the 10-18 age group.

In Ohio, the rate of suicides among children 14 years old and younger in 2017 was 1.19 per 100,000, according to the Ohio Alliance for Innovation in Public Health. The rate has increased by 80 percent during the past decade.

Among youngsters 15-19 years of age, the suicide rate was 11.99 per 100,000 in 2017. That is an increase of 16.7 percent over a decade ago.

The House bill would require public middle and high school students to take classes annually in suicide and violence prevention. It also would require each school to have a threat assessment team among staff members.

State senators should approve the bill or something similar, then Gov. Mike DeWine should sign it into law. Enlisting students to help prevent suicide by classmates could be effective in saving young lives, and anything we can do to make a difference is worth the effort.

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