Ohio House Bill 123
Ohio Prioritizes Whole-Child Safety with SAVE Act
On March 24, 2021, Ohio became the first state to pass the Safety and Violence Education Students (SAVE Students) Act, a groundbreaking bill calling for a whole-child approach that focuses on comprehensive school safety & climate.
Ohio HB 123 Takes a Comprehensive Approach to Student Safety
Ohio’s House Bill 123, also known as the Safety and Violence Education Students (SAVE Students) Act, brings together the departments of Education, Public Safety and Mental Health and Addiction Services to create a comprehensive framework that will enable schools to protect students’ mental and physical wellbeing.
In alignment with the state’s Each Child, Our Future strategic plan for education, the bill takes a whole-child approach to student safety. Laid out by the Ohio Department of Education, this plan relies on a Whole Child Framework that brings the district, school, family and community together to better support students.
Along with prioritizing a holistic approach, Ohio’s HB 123 requires evidence-based solutions. This means that all components of the program must be implemented with fidelity and meet or exceed the amount of time required. With these standards in place, the state makes it clear that they take the success and wellness of their students seriously.
House Bill 123 lays out requirements for student safety and wellness in five main areas: Health Curriculum, Threat Assessment, Anonymous Reporting, Emergency Management and School Safety & Climate.
The student mental health crisis is well documented, and Ohio school leaders are making it a top priority to provide awareness and support to students across the state. Beginning in July 2023, schools will be required to provide at least one hour of educational training in each of the following:
- Suicide awareness and prevention
- Safety training and violence prevention
- Social inclusion
This guidance from the Department of Education was created by a team of suicide prevention professionals including state agencies, local alcohol, drug addiction and mental health services boards, institutions of higher education, and behavioral health providers.
Threat assessment is a vital component of any school’s preventive measures against violence to self and others. Ohio HB 123 establishes three requirements to enhance threat assessment procedures that must be met by March 24, 2023:
- The Departments of Safety and Education as well as the Attorney General’s Office must provide a list of approved threat assessment training programs
- Every school statewide must form a behavioral threat assessment team
- State officials must provide a model threat assessment plan to be used in schools’ emergency operation plans (EOPs)
The aim of these requirements is to improve the process of responding to students in crisis — before they commit an act of violence — by ensuring proper training and standardizing response processes.
Friends, family and the entire community have a part to play in keeping students and their schools safe. Those closest to a student in crisis are most likely to see early warning signs, and anonymous reporting enables them to report what they know. Ohio House Bill 123 requires that all schools register with an anonymous reporting system that operates 24 hours per day, forwards all reported information to the appropriate teams and law enforcement, and complies with both Ohio and federal law.
Beyond simply implementing a system, schools are also required to review their data annually and provide reports on the following:
- The number and type of disciplinary actions taken in the previous school year
- The number and type of mental wellness referrals
- The race and gender of the students subject to the disciplinary actions and mental wellness referrals
Ohio HB 123 did not alter the state’s requirement that EOPs be submitted yearly for approval, but it did move jurisdiction of this process from the Department of Education to the Director of Public Safety.
With the passage of House Bill 123, educational service centers can apply for and receive the state-funded school safety and climate grants. These applications are hosted by the Ohio Attorney General Services for Schools.
Navigate360 Can Help Your School Comply with Ohio HB 123
We know it takes more than point solutions to take care of the whole child. That’s why we’re committed to upholding the new standard of student safety and wellness by offering holistic solutions that work better together. From suicide awareness and prevention curriculum to threat assessment training and anonymous tip reporting, we are here to support you as you implement all requirements of the SAVE Act.
Mental Health & Wellness Solutions
Suite360 for Students: Help your students reach their full potential and thrive with the most comprehensive, evidence-based social-emotional learning (SEL) curriculum available. Suite360 for Students includes scaffolded lessons for grades K-12, engaging content that students understand, and diverse topics that help to produce well-rounded students.
Mental Health & Prevention: Navigate360 provides mental health awareness tools to address tough mental health and safety-related topics. With professionally developed resources for students, staff and families, everyone can care for their own mental health and respond appropriately when they or someone they care about is in need.
Threat Assessment & Case Management
As an approved vendor in the state of Ohio for threat assessment training, we are equipped to provide both the highest level of expert-led training for your staff and the tools your behavioral threat assessment teams need to manage cases and monitor the care being provided to students in crisis. These solutions can be bundled together or utilized individually, depending on your school’s needs. To learn more, contact our safety consultants.
Behavioral Threat Assessment Training: Aligned with the Comprehensive School Threat Assessment Guidelines (CSTAG) or the National Threat Assessment Center (NTAC) threat assessment model, this is a two-part behavioral threat assessment training program that combines online and in-person (available live or virtual) learning to build the confidence needed to identify and properly intervene when a child is showing signs of a mental health crisis.
Behavioral Threat & Suicide Case Management: This single solution will provide your school’s mental health professionals and behavioral threat assessment team members with evidence-based case management software that allows for continuum of care documentation and analytics reporting to proactively improve outcomes for students of concern.
Suicide Awareness & Prevention: Aligned with the Columbia-Suicide Severity Rating Scale (C-SSRS), Navigate360’s comprehensive suicide prevention training prepares mental health staff on how to address and help a student in crisis. Through our expert-authored curriculum, staff will also gain knowledge of strategies for reducing the stigma of suicide and improving the effectiveness of prevention programs.
Safety & Security Solutions
P3 Anonymous Tip Reporting: P3 serves as a forum for collaboration and accountability between school administrators, peace officers and mental health professionals to ensure every student’s needs are met. Our technology also powers well-known national and state-level tip lines such as Sandy Hook Promise’s Say Something program and Safe2Tell Colorado. As the leading anonymous reporting tool, our software empowers students, teachers and individuals to proactively share information about safety, bullying, self-harm and violence.
Safety & Security Suite: Operating as a single visitor, volunteer, panic button and emergency management solution set, our Safety & Security Suite integrates Emergency Management Suite and Visitor & Volunteer Management to ensure real-time, whole-campus oversight and accountability and improve communication pathways. The suite provides a variety of features, including silent panic alarms, robust safety checks, guidance to ensure Department of Education (DOE) compliance and comprehensive site mapping.
Navigate360 Offers Holistic Solutions that Support Students, Schools & Communities
We know it takes more than a single solution to take care of the whole child and the schools and community that surround them, which is why we believe in solutions that work better together. From prevention all the way through response and recovery, we can provide end-to-end solutions that keep your students, teachers and staff safe.
Building a comprehensive safety plan can be a daunting task, but we are here to help. Speak with one of our safety specialists today to learn how you can maximize this additional funding to build a holistic ecosystem of whole-child safety this year.