They're the head of the class, and now some believe teachers should become students so they can learn the signs of suicide.
"Teachers are one of the gatekeepers and they may notice the signs before anyone else," Jennifer Piver, executive director with Mental Health America of Greenville County, said.
She said the organization provides a suicide hotline for those in need.
"Our young folks are struggling and suicide is on the rise, and these resources can help," she said.
A handmade quilt hangs on the wall near the entrance of her office door. She said family members of those who committed suicide made the quilt. It is decorated with pictures and poems. And while she continues to help those in Greenville County, lawmakers are debating Bill 4690 on the Senate floor.
"I don't want to hold it up, this could save lives," Sen. David Thomas out of Greenville County said.
He said the bill would require teachers to take two hours of training in youth suicide prevention.
"Let's really think about this a minute," he said on the floor.
On Wednesday, Thomas said teachers need to be protected. He said the way the bill reads now, teachers could be blamed if someone commits suicide.
"Some lawyer can make an argument that that's gross negligence and now the teacher is being sued, the school district is being sued," he said.
Thomas said he wants an amendment to the bill.
"You have the teacher trained and the teacher is completely exempt from any lawsuit," he said.
And whatever is decided, Piver hopes it means she won't have to add another panel to the quilt that hangs near her office.
If you or someone you know are having feelings of suicide, you can contact this 24-hour CRISISline at 864-271-8888 or the TEENline at 864-467-8336.
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