Submitted by SCAFoundation on Fri, 03/09/2012 - 12:00am

In addition to earning credits in subjects like English and science, Missouri high school students could be required to be proficient in CPR.

House Bill 1337, sponsored by Rep. Rick Stream, R-District 94, would take effect in fall 2014 if passed. The bill requires students to be certified in cardiopulmonary resuscitation to graduate high school.

“Instruction may be embedded in any health education course,” the bill states. “Instruction shall be based on a program established by the American Heart Association or the American Red Cross, or through a nationally recognized program based on the most current national evidence-based emergency cardiovascular care guidelines, and psychomotor skills development shall be incorporated into the instruction.”

Alabama, Washington D.C., Indiana, Louisiana, North Carolina, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Texas all have requirements for CPR programs, according to the American Heart Association.

Most states require some kind of CPR education in high school or prior, but few require training by AHA or a nationally recognized training program. Puerto Rico is the only area that requires CPR for high school graduation.

Sally Beth Lyon, Chief Academic Officer of Columbia Public Schools, said Columbia Public Schools already teaches the basics of CPR but does not certify students in CPR.

Lion said the proposed law could be costly for high schools.

“If this legislation were to become law, our school district would need to get our teachers certified as CPR instructors through either the Red Cross or the American Heart Association, which would be a cost to the school district,” she said.

Proponents of the bill said it “is not intrusive or oppressive on a school district by adding any curriculum standards or administrative requirements,” according to the bill summary.

Lyon said she thinks CPR certification is important, and hopes the Capitol can make it affordable for schools.

“It's interesting that the legislature is considering it," she said. "I hope that they thoroughly think it out because there will be costs involved for school districts.”

SOURCE: The Maneater Student Newspaper