Lawmakers want CPR skills part of graduation requirements

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) - Before South Carolina high school students are handed their diplomas, several lawmakers want to make sure they are certified in a life saving skill.

Last week, the two bills were filed in both the House and Senate. The bills would require schools to teach students hands-only CPR before they graduate to prepare them for sudden cardiac arrest.

Both bills would require the addition of Hands-Only CPR training within the already mandatory health education curriculum.

District 112 Rep. Mike Sottile submitted a CPR bill last session after he was contacted by a Mount Pleasant young woman ambitious about saving lives.

Sally Sheppard graduated from Ashley Hall in 2011. A friend's ability to use CPR during a near-tragic experience changed her life and for others.

"I trained all the girls in my class before we all graduated and I actually am proud to say two of the girls that I had to certify in CPR had to use it in their freshman year of college and ended up saving life," she said.

Because of Sheppard, all students at Ashley Hall must be CPR-certified before they graduate.

State superintendent Mick Zais says he still does not support a blanket policy or adding non-academic graduation requirements.

Currently five states, North Carolina being the most recent, require training.