New bill would allow Florida students to get mental health days off of school

Could help lower suicide rates, Florida leaders say

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – A new bill filed in Florida could allow students to miss school for for mental health reasons. 

House Bill 315, introduced by Representative Susan Valdes, would allow a specified number of mental health days as excused absences for students. 

Under the bill, students would be allowed to take one day off of school per semester for mental health reasons. 

"The Legislature finds that poor academic performance is associated with nonattendance and that school districts must take an active role in promoting and enforcing attendance as a means of improving student performance," the bill reads. 

The students who take a mental health day will also be able to make up assigned work and not receive an academic penalty, the bill says. 

If passed, it would take effect on July 1, 2020.

Click here to read the full bill. 



About the Author:

Carianne Luter is a social media producer for News4Jax and has worked at Channel 4 since December 2015. She graduated from the University of North Florida with a communication degree.