Senate passes measure to address youth suicides in Indian Country

U.S. Senator John Thune is victorious in his efforts to address youth suicide on the Pine Ridge Reservation.

The Senate adopted his amendments to the Every Child Achieves Act, then passed the measure itself Thursday afternoon.

The bill would reduce federal interference in education. It would also require the secretary of education to coordinate with other federal agencies to report on efforts to address youth suicides in Indian Country and expand the use of Project School Emergency Response to Violence funds to include preventative efforts against youth suicide.

Thune says suicide is the second leading cause of death for Indian youth in Indian Health Service areas, and that it's time to get a better understanding of how to better address the problem.

The bill also includes a Native American Education Amendment provided by U.S. Senator Mike Rounds.