Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Updates on Yolanda's Law & Suzy's Law

Now that I've returned from hiatus, I want to give you the latest developments on two stories I'd covered on this blog during the summer months.

Earlier in the summer I had written about Yolanda's Law in Massachusetts. At the time, the legislation was just about to come up for a vote. You may recall that the law provides training for teachers, guidance counselors and nurses to better identify students with mental health issues and, consequently, help them receive the treatment they need. It was named after 16-year-old Yolanda Torres who suffered from bipolar disorder and ultimately committed suicide. I'm happy to report that last Thursday, August 21, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick signed Yolanda's Law into reality.

Back on July 22, I had written about Mike and Mary Gonzalez going to Washington, DC to beef up support for Suzy's Law. This controversial piece of legislation would create penalties for any individual who provides information via the Internet detailing how one can commit suicide and encouraging them to do so. Five years ago, Mike and Mary's 19-year-old daughter Suzy committed suicide with the encouragement and detailed planning provided by individuals on a pro-suicide website. Although the Gonzalezes state that Suzy's Law will not violate freedom of speech, critics continue to argue that such legislation perches our nation on a slippery slope of censorship. Now, as I return from hiatus, Suzy's Law has seven Congressional sponsors.Sphere: Related Content

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