The Daily Pennsylvanian is a student-run nonprofit.

Please support us by disabling your ad blocker on our site.

A retired New Jersey teacher has started a petition for a law named after College freshman Madison Holleran, whose January death was ruled a suicide.

Edward Modica, who was Holleran’s 5th grade teacher at Brookside School in Allendale, N.J., has started an online petition to create a law that would "make colleges accountable for accurately listing the numbers of suicides and attempted suicides on their campuses annually."

The law, referred to in the petition as “The Madison Holleran Law,” would also require colleges to provide certified suicide prevention counselors “to help potential victims address their needs and allay their fears about the rigorous demands of college life.”

Modica has already sent a copy of the petition to U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), New Jersey State Reps. David C. Russo (R-Allendale) and Scott Rumana (R-Allendale) and New Jersey State Sen. Kevin O’Toole (R-Allendale). Modica has also been in contact with representatives from the Office of Senator Cory Booker about the petition.

“I wanted to start the petition in New Jersey to see what kind of interest it drew,” Modica said. He added that he was inspired to start the petition after learning that colleges in New Jersey are currently not required to report annual on-campus suicide statistics or employ suicide prevention personnel.

As of publication time, the petition had 2,018 signatures, 18 more than its former 2,000 signature goal.

In the petition, Modica wrote that Holleran was a former student of his and “her suicide left a void in the hearts of so many people across the United States.”

Modica described Holleran as “brilliant and bright” and “a very special girl whose smile could light up a room.”

“It destroys me to see what happened to her and hopefully with this petition we can stop it from happening again,” Modica said.

The petition is not the only way that many of Holleran’s friends and family members have mobilized efforts to support suicide prevention causes in her memory.

Over the past few months, three different fundraising campaigns have raised over over $56,000 for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. The campaigns were led by Penn track and field alumni, New Jersey high school student Vinny Guaglardi and Heather Ford, a longtime friend of Holleran. 

Comments powered by Disqus

Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Pennsylvanian.