Did You Know? WA Student Mental Health Days Now in Effect
A bill that passed the legislature and went into effect this summer allows students to take mental health days, and have them excused, and is effective for the 2022-23 school year and beyond.
HB 1834 went into effect June 9th
The bill was a by-product of the COVID school shutdowns, which in WA lasted longer than most other states in the US. Faced with growing statistics about anxiety and mental health issues among K-12 students across the state, the legislature passed the legislation.
Various studies and data showed mental health issues among K-12 students were higher in WA than in many other states, much of it attributed to the long school shutdowns and disruption of the student's regular educational routines.
It leaves a lot up to individual districts as to how the programs are being operated, but it does allow students to take a day off and attribute it to their mental health.
A student cannot excuse themselves, a parent must do so. But now they can say it is for mental health and it will be counted as excused--as opposed to the 'traditional requirements' of having a physical illness.
Each district can determine its own specifics, for example, if a note will be required indicating the student sought out help from a therapist or other mental health providers.
The law does not set a limit as to the number of days that can be used, but do require parental approval and signing to be accepted.
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