Mother says teachers need to know the signs of potential suicide, pushes legislation

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by azfamily.com

Video report by Ryan O'Donnell

Posted on March 11, 2014 at 7:59 AM

Updated Thursday, Mar 13 at 12:20 PM

Poll:
Should teachers be educated on the signs a child might be considering suicide?

PHOENIX -- While one Phoenix mother searches for answers in the wake of her daughter's murder by a teen who then killed himself, another mother is doing everything she can to keep a tragedy like that from happening again.

LeAnn Hull's 16-year-old son committed suicide more than a year ago. Since then, she's been determined to do everything she can to keep other parents from experiencing that heartache.

To that end, Hull wants Arizona's teachers to be educated about possible warning signs that a child might be contemplating suicide.

She presented House Bill 2605 to the House Education Committee last month. It passed the House in relatively short order, but the Senate has yet to vote on or even look at the bill.

Hull says the murder last week of Anastasia Greer and the suicide of her classmate, Matthew Bolton, illustrate the need for HB 2605.

"The bill really simply states it's mandating that the Department of Education will accept suicide training and prevention as continuing education hours for these teachers so it will encourage them to want to learn and get trained," Hull explained to 3TV's Jaime Cerreta last month.

The measure passed the House with 55 votes. Five members did not vote.

HB 2605 went to the Senate on Feb. 28. The Senate Committee on Education is slated to look at the measure Thursday.

Hull is hosting a rally at the Capitol at 11 a.m. Tuesday to encourage the Senate to pass HB 2605.

Even as HB 2605 makes its way through the Legislature, Ana's mom has many questions for school administrators at Sandra Day O'Connor High School. She believes school personnel knew something was wrong on Friday but didn't do enough to stop her daughter's murder.

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