vanessa-newVanessa Remmers covers Stafford County government and schools for and The Free Lance-Star.

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Gwyneth’s Law introduced in House, would require CPR training for teachers and high school diplomas

Del. Mark Dudenhefer introduced legislation that may be named after a Stafford preteen who died after her heart stopped suddenly one day at school.

Gwyneth’s Law, as it has been called, would require CPR and emergency first aid training required of more school employees, including for a teacher licensure renewal and for bus drivers. High schoolers would need training before graduation, starting with the class of 2018. The bill also requires an AED in every school by 2014, along with CPR drills.

Gwyneth Griffin’s parents, Joel and Jennifer, told me about their daughter last year. Here’s that story about a push for changes in school systems. The Griffins describe teachers as oftentimes the first responders, and believe they should be adequately prepared for emergencies. Faster response times for CPR can improve someone’s chance of surviving.

“If we just do little things to save people’s lives, that would make Gwyneth happy to have something done that helps someone else,” Joel Griffin said in September. “She would have been overjoyed.”

The bill (HB 2028) is now in a House Education subcommittee. Here’s the summary text on LIS, and the full text can be found at this link.

Public schools; cardiopulmonary resuscitation and automated external defibrillators. Allows school boards to require current certification or training in emergency first aid, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and the use of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) for bus drivers, increases required school personnel with such training per school, and requires such training for those seeking initial teacher licensure, renewal of a license to teach, or a provisional teaching license with a waiver for disabilities. For students, beginning with first-time ninth grade students in the 2014-2015 school year, the bill adds a requirement that recipients of the standard and advanced diplomas must receive training in emergency first aid, CPR, and the use of AEDs with a waiver for students with disabilities. The bill also requires an AED in every school by the 2014-2015 school year and schoolwide cardiopulmonary resuscitation drills.