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413R - Suicide Prevention

I. Duties of Teachers and Administrative Staff
Any person licensed as administrative or instructional personnel by the Board of Education and employed by the Frederick County School Board who, in the scope of his/her employment, has reason to believe, as a result of direct communication from a student, that such student is at imminent risk of suicide, shall, as soon as practicable, inform an administrator and contact at least one of such student's parents/guardians to ask whether such parent/guardian is aware of the student's mental state and whether the parent/guardian wishes to obtain or has already obtained counseling for such student.

II. Contacting the Parent/Guardian
If the section below titled “Abuse or Neglect” does not apply, then the staff member shall call at least one of the student’s parents/guardians. When contacting a parent/guardian, the staff member should:

1. Provide his/her name and position in the school;

2. Tell the parent/guardian that he/she has reason to believe, as a result of direct communication from the student, that the student is at imminent risk of suicide;

3. Inform the parent whether the student has been screened by a first responder clinician from the Children’s Crisis Mobilization Unit;

4. Assure the parent/guardian that the student is currently safe;

5. State the legal requirement for the call, citing Va. Code § 22.1-272.1;

6. Ask the parent/guardian whether he or she is aware of the student’s mental state;

7. Ask the parent/guardian whether he or she wishes to obtain or has obtained mental health counseling for the student;

8. Provide names of community counseling resources if appropriate and offer to facilitate the referral; and

9. Determine the parent’s intent to seek appropriate services for the student.

III. Abuse or Neglect
If the student has indicated that the reason for being at imminent risk of suicide relates to parental abuse or neglect, contact shall not be made with the parent. Instead, the staff person shall, as soon as practicable, notify the local department of social services of the county or city wherein the child resides or wherein the abuse or neglect is believed to have occurred or the state Department of Social Services' toll-free child abuse and neglect hotline as required by Policy 508P, Personnel- Child Abuse and Neglect and Va. Code § 63.2-1509. When giving this notice to the local or state department, the person shall stress the need to take immediate action to protect the child from harm.

IV. Inability to Reach Parent/Guardian
If the staff member is unable to make contact with the parent/guardian or the parent/guardian refuses to pick-up a student who is considered to be at imminent danger of suicide, the school resource officer or the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office and the Frederick County Department of Social Services shall be contacted for assistance. If a school resource officer or the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office and the Frederick County Department of Social Services are not available and the student is considered to be at imminent danger of suicide, 911 shall be called for immediate assistance.

V. Required Documentation
The staff member shall document the phone call to the parent/guardian by recording: (a) the time and date of the call; (b) the individual contacted; (c) the parent/guardian’s response; and (d) anticipated follow-up. The documentation shall be maintained for one calendar year by the staff member documenting the phone call.

VI. Additional Concerns
If parental/guardian contact is made and, in the course of this contact, relevant issues of abuse or neglect are discovered (e.g., a parent acknowledges the child’s suicidal intent but indicates no intent to act for the well-being of the child), the staff member shall report the abuse or neglect in accordance with Policy 508P, Personnel - Child Abuse and Neglect

VII. Duty to Keep Student Safe and Secure
A student who is at imminent risk of suicide shall remain under adult supervision until a parent/guardian or other authorized individual accepts responsibility for the student’s safety.

VIII. Mental Health Evaluation
A student who is at imminent risk of suicide or has a history of suicidal threats or gestures at school may be required by the school administrator to receive a mental health evaluation from a community-based, licensed professional at the expense of the student’s parent/legal guardian prior to his/her return to school in order to ensure the safety of the student. If the parent/legal guardian is unable to pay for the mental health evaluation, school staff will work with the parent/legal guardian to try to secure community-based funding for the mental health evaluation. 




Cross References:
Policy 508P, Personnel- Child Abuse and Neglect
Policy 221P, Administration- School Crisis, Emergency Management and Medical Emergency Response Plan
Regulation 221R, Administration- School Crisis and Emergency Management Plan
Policy 224P, Administration- Threat Assessment Teams
Regulation 224R, Administration- Threat Assessment Teams

Legal References:
Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, §§ 22.1-272.1 and 63.2-1509
Va. Board of Education “Suicide Prevention Guidelines,” (Revised 2003). 



Adopted: June 11, 2007
Amended: December 15, 2015