BUFFALO, N.Y. — A New York State Senator has proposed legislation for school districts to allow mental health days for students as an excused absence. Senator Brad Hoylman believes it is necessary with the shocking rise in teen suicide attempts.
Under the current law, school districts can develop their own attendance policies. They determine what absences are considered excused or unexcused.
Sen. Hoylman says self-harm among young New Yorkers is a major public health crisis. "We need to recognize this baseline issue in our public schools," he said.
"Recent studies have shown that the number of young people treated for suicide attempts and suicidal thoughts has nearly doubled in the last five years."
The senator is hoping to get support in the Assembly. He says health professionals have also shown support for the legislation.
Buffalo Schools Superintendent Dr. Kriner Cash finds the proposed legislation interesting. "I'm more concerned about, OK, you're off for the day, but what support are you getting when you're off and where you're off. So we have to look at this legislation a little more, but it's interesting."
I'm more concerned about, OK you're off for the day but what support are you getting when you're off and where you're off. so we have to look at this legislation a little more but it's interesting, we'll follow it but I think we are ahead of the curve.
Many Buffalo schools already have rooms for students to go and talk.