SHB 1264

This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.

As of March 19, 2019

Title: An act relating to secondary traumatic stress in public school staff.

Brief Description: Concerning secondary traumatic stress in public school staff.

Sponsors: House Committee on Appropriations (originally sponsored by Representatives Ortiz-Self, Orwall, Bergquist, Santos, Dolan, Lovick, Peterson, Reeves, Sells, Stanford, Appleton, Callan, Wylie and Pollet).

Brief History: Passed House: 3/04/19, 96-0.

Committee Activity: Early Learning & K-12 Education: 3/15/19.

Brief Summary of Bill

  • Directs the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction to identify or develop online training modules to support teachers affected by secondary traumatic stress.

  • Requires the training modules to be included on a menu of topics that may be implemented on professional learning days if the number of days are increased.


Staff: Ailey Kato (786-7434)

Background: Vicarious or Secondary Trauma. In 2009, the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) created a training tool that defined vicarious or secondary trauma. Vicarious trauma often carries many of the same symptoms as first-hand trauma or post-traumatic stress disorder. Vicarious means to feel through the experience of others; a secondary rather than primary experience. The training tool described self-care as an ethical obligation and is necessary to recognize and prevent the impact of vicarious trauma.

Professional Learning Days. Professional learning means a comprehensive, sustained, job-embedded, and collaborative approach to improving teachers' and principals' effectiveness in raising student achievement. Beginning with the 2018-19 school year, the Legislature must begin phasing in funding for professional learning days for certificated instructional staff. At a minimum, the state must allocate funding for:

Summary of Bill: Online Training Modules. OSPI must identify or develop online training modules, available on OSPI's website, to support teachers affected by secondary traumatic stress. At a minimum, the modules must:

Professional Learning Days. Beginning in fiscal year 2021, if the number of state-allocated professional learning days for either certificated instructional staff or classified staff is increased beyond the number allocated in fiscal year 2020, OSPI must include the training modules on the menu of topics that may be implemented on the additional days.

Appropriation: The bill contains a null and void clause requiring specific funding be provided in an omnibus appropriation act.

Fiscal Note: Available.

Creates Committee/Commission/Task Force that includes Legislative members: No.

Effective Date: Ninety days after adjournment of session in which bill is passed.

Staff Summary of Public Testimony: PRO: Students and educators are facing many difficult issues in schools. Educators are on the frontline when there are tragedies. The stress level in the education system is high including educators experiencing secondary traumatic stress. This bill provides support for teachers and administrators, which will enhance well-being and improve school climate.

Persons Testifying: PRO: Representative Lillian Ortiz-Self, Prime Sponsor; Mona Johnson, Office of the Superintendent of the Public Instruction; Lucinda Young, Washington Education Association.

Persons Signed In To Testify But Not Testifying: No one.