AB-1719: CPR for Schools

AB-1719, a bill that would require cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training in California high schools that have health as a graduation requirement, was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown on September 27, Assembly member Freddie Rodriguez’s Chief of Staff Lourdes Jimenez said.

According to Jimenez, under AB-1719, hands-only CPR will be taught to thousands of students each year, bringing thousands of potential life-savers who otherwise wouldn’t have learned CPR. The new requirement is set to go into effect in the 2018-2019 school year, Jimenez said.

“I’m thrilled that this bill will now become law,” Assembly member Freddie Rodriguez said in a statement. “Knowing how to perform CPR will empower students to act in an emergency.”

At MHS, CPR hands-only training may not be required, since a school district needs to designate health as a required course for graduation in order for AB-1719 to be effective, Jimenez said. Once the designation is set, then the CPR requirement will be triggered, but health as an elective course does not require CPR instruction under this law, Jimenez continued.

It’s up to the school whether or not to require CPR training in an elective health class, Jimenez said. However, Assembly member Freddie Rodriguez and the supporters of AB-1719 hope that more school districts will start to educate their students about CPR after seeing how cost-effective and simple it is to teach CPR, Jimenez said.

“If a lot of students learn CPR, if the time comes or it it’s necessary, we can help save someone’s life,” Sophomore Mealaud Mokhtarzad said. “There could possibly be less accidents.”

Mokhtarzad addressed the likelihood of a situation in which he or another student would act to save someone in need of CPR if MHS were to require health as a graduation requirement and implement AB-1719.

“I’d say hopefully,” Mokhtarzad said. “I feel like they would possibly not be able to do it, sort of like the bystander mentality – oh, I’m not going to do it, someone else will do it.”

Freshman Kevin Nguyen expressed similar sentiments on the positive impacts of CPR training requirements. In that one moment where a person needs help and calling 911 won’t get the emergency services there in time, CPR can save them, Nguyen said.

“If there’s another person there that knows CPR well I would just try to help them, but if no one else can help I would try to,” Nguyen said. “I feel like this thing is a good thing. It can save lives.”

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