CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - Twenty-six states have laws that require students to learn CPR in order to graduate High school, with Illinois added to the list in 2016.
More than 1.5 million teens in the U.S. will now be trained in CPR as part of their school curriculum each year.
Even though a Missouri law hasn't passed, nurses at Perryville High School aren't wasting any time making sure their students know about the importance of CPR.
"It's wonderful to do it in high school, but I wouldn't mind doing it as early as middle school," Yvonne Spears said.
Spears is the only CPR instructor at the high school.
She said requiring students to have certification before graduation is a great idea.
"Kids that have done CPR on adults and other kids before that have taken classes from us and have saved a life and we would like to try to get more," she said.
Spears said she's realized they want to have a more active role when it's time react.
"When you get started you're like, 'You call 911' and start the process out," she said. "They want to be the ones 'Can I help? Can I do something? What can I do?'"
Senior Kameron Fears is certified in CPR. He said knowing CPR as a requirement wouldn't be a bad idea.
"It wouldn't hurt, but it'll be a good thing so they'll be more ready if it were to happen in the future," Fears said.
Spears said the district plans to have after school certification training, but funding is still a problem.
"We are trying to do some things here so that we can be proactive rather than reactive, so that we're ready," she said.