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2145 Suicide Prevention

The Seattle School Board recognizes that suicide is a leading cause of death among youth and suicidal indicators, such as substance abuse and violence, are complex issues that should be taken seriously. While district staff may recognize potentially suicidal youth and can make an initial risk assessment, the district cannot provide in-depth mental health counseling. The Board directs district staff to refer students who exhibit suicidal behaviors to an appropriate service for further assessment and counseling.

District staff who have knowledge of a suicide threat must take the proper steps to support the student and to report this information to the building principal or designee who will, in turn, notify the appropriate school and district officials, the student’s family, and appropriate resource services.

The Board also recognizes the need for youth suicide prevention procedures.  The district will adopt and, at the beginning of each school year, provide to all district staff, a plan for recognizing, screening, referring, and responding to students in emotional or behavioral distress.  At a minimum, the plan will:

  • Identify training opportunities for staff on recognizing, screening, and referral of students in emotional or behavioral distress, including those who exhibit indicators of substance abuse, violence, or suicide;
    • This training is not intended to meet the requirements for maintaining certification as called for in RCW 28A.410.226.
  • Describe how to utilize the expertise of district staff trained in recognition, screening, and referral;
  • Provide guidelines, based on staff expertise, for responding to suspicions, concerns or warning signs of emotional or behavioral distress;
  • Address development of partnerships with community organizations and agencies for referral of students to support services, to include development of at least one memorandum of understanding between the district and one such entity;
  • Contain procedures for communication with parents or guardians;
  • Describe how staff should respond to a crisis situation where a student is in imminent danger to himself or herself or others; and
  • Describe how the district will provide support to students and staff after an incident of violence or student suicide.

The Superintendent or his/her designee is authorized to develop and implement procedures to achieve the Board’s goals and objectives.