Congressman Panetta’s Bipartisan Mental Health Legislation to Improve School Safety Passes House in Unanimous Vote

September 30, 2020
Press Release

This week, the bipartisan Behavioral Intervention Guidelines Act authored by Congressman Jimmy Panetta (D-Carmel Valley) and Congressman Drew Ferguson (R-GA) passed the House of Representatives unanimously.  H.R. 3539 directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services to develop best practices for the establishment and use of behavioral intervention in schools.  

“Every day, we experience the pain and hardship that can happen with individuals struggling with mental health issues in our schools,” said Congressman Panetta.  “Our legislation will make schools safer by providing access to mental health resources and identifying at risk students before their behavior results in self-harm or harm to others.  I am proud that our legislation received unanimous support so we can put those most in need on track to mental wellness and keep our schools safe.”

The Behavioral Intervention Guidelines Act directs the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to develop and disseminate best practices to assist elementary schools, secondary schools, and institutions of higher education in establishing and using behavioral intervention practices.  DHHS will also provide resources to assist school personnel in implementing such best practices, including with respect to training behavioral intervention teams.