BP 5141.52


    Suicide Prevention

    The Governing Board recognizes that suicide is a leading cause of death among youth and that school personnel who regularly interact with students are often in a position to recognize the warning signs of suicide and to offer appropriate referral and/or assistance. In an effort to reduce suicidal behavior and its impact on students and families, the Superintendent or designee shall develop measures and strategies for suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention. 

    In developing policy and strategies for suicide prevention and intervention, the Superintendent or designee shall consult with school and community stakeholders such as administrators, other staff, parents/guardians, and students; school-employed mental health professionals such as school counselors, school psychologists, school social workers, and school nurses; suicide prevention experts such as local health agencies, mental health professionals, and community organizations; law enforcement; and, in developing policy for grades K-6, the county mental health plan.  (Education Code 215) 

    (cf. 1220 - Citizen Advisory Committees)
    (cf. 1400 - Relations Between Other Governmental Agencies and the Schools) 

    The Board shall ensure that measures and strategies for students in grades K-6 are age appropriate and delivered and discussed in a manner that is sensitive to the needs of young students.  (Education Code 215) 

    Measures and strategies for suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention shall include, but are not limited to: 

    1. Staff development on suicide awareness and prevention for teachers, school counselors, and other district employees who interact with students, as described in the accompanying administrative regulation 

    (cf. 4131 - Staff Development)
    (cf. 4231 - Staff Development)
    (cf. 4331 - Staff Development) 

    1. Instruction to students in grades 7-12 problem-solving and coping skills to promote students' mental, emotional, and social health and well-being, as well as instruction in recognizing and appropriately responding to warning signs of suicidal intent in others 

    (cf. 6142.8 - Comprehensive Health Education) 

    1. Methods for promoting a positive school climate that enhances students' feelings of connectedness with the school and that is characterized by caring staff and harmonious interrelationships among students 

    (cf. 5131 - Conduct)
    (cf. 5131.2 - Bullying)
    (cf. 5137 - Positive School Climate)
    (cf. 5145.3 - Nondiscrimination/Harassment)
    (cf. 5145.7 - Sexual Harassment)
    (cf. 5145.9 - Hate-Motivated Behavior) 

    1. The provision of information to parents/guardians of students in grades 7-12 regarding risk factors and warning signs of suicide, the severity of the suicide problem among youth, the district's suicide prevention curriculum, basic steps for helping suicidal youth, and/or school and community resources that can help youth in crisis 
    1. Encouragement for students to notify appropriate school personnel or other adults when they are experiencing thoughts of suicide or when they suspect or have knowledge of another student's suicidal intentions 
    1. Crisis intervention procedures for addressing suicide threats or attempts 
    1. Counseling and other postvention strategies for helping students, staff, and others cope in the aftermath of a student's suicide 

    As appropriate, these measures and strategies shall specifically address the needs of students who are at high risk of suicide, including, but not limited to, students who are bereaved by suicide; students with disabilities, mental illness, or substance use disorders; students who are experiencing homelessness or who are in out-of-home settings such as foster care; and students who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning.  (Education Code 215) 

    If a referral is made for mental health or related services for a student in grade K-6 who is a Medi-Cal beneficiary, the Superintendent or designee shall coordinate and consult with the county mental health plan.  (Education Code 215) 

    (cf. 5141.6 - School Health Services) 

    District employees shall act only within the authorization and scope of their credential or license. Nothing in this policy shall be construed as authorizing or encouraging district employees to diagnose or treat mental illness unless they are specifically licensed and employed to do so.  (Education Code 215) 

    The Board shall review, and update as necessary, this policy at least every five years.  

    (Education Code 215) 

    The Superintendent or designee shall post this policy on the district's web site, in a prominent location and in a manner that is easily accessible to parents/guardians and students.  (Education Code 234.6) 


    Legal Reference:
    215  Student suicide prevention policies
    215.5  Suicide prevention hotline contact information on student identification cards
    216  Suicide prevention online training programs
    234.6  Posting suicide prevention policy on web site
    32280-32289.5  Comprehensive safety plan
    49060-49079  Student records
    49602  Confidentiality of student information
    49604  Suicide prevention training for school counselors
    810-996.6  Government Claims Act
    11164-11174.3  Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act
    5698  Emotionally disturbed youth; legislative intent
    5850-5886  Children's Mental Health Services Act
    Corales v. Bennett (Ontario-Montclair School District), (2009) 567 F.3d 554
    Management Resources:
    Health Education Content Standards for California Public Schools, Kindergarten Through Grade Twelve, 2008
    Health Framework for California Public Schools, Kindergarten Through Grade Twelve, 2019
    School Connectedness:  Strategies for Increasing Protective Factors Among Youth, 2009
    Preventing Suicide:  Guidelines for Administrators and Crisis Teams, 2015
    National Strategy for Suicide Prevention:  Goals and Objectives for Action, rev. 2012
    Preventing Suicide:  A Toolkit for High Schools, 2012
    American Association of Suicidology:  http://www.suicidology.org
    American Foundation for Suicide Prevention:  http://afsp.org
    American Psychological Association:  http://www.apa.org
    American School Counselor Association:  http://www.schoolcounselor.org
    California Department of Education, Mental Health:  http://www.cde.ca.gov/ls/cg/mh
    California Department of Health Care Services, Mental Health Services:  http://www.dhcs.ca.gov/services/MH
    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Mental Health:  http://www.cdc.gov/mentalhealth
    National Association of School Psychologists:  http://www.nasponline.org
    National Institute for Mental Health:  http://www.nimh.nih.gov
    Suicide Prevention Resource Center: http://www.sprc.org/about-suicide
    Suicide Prevention Lifeline:  http://suicidepreventionlifeline.org
    Trevor Project:  http://thetrevorproject.org
    U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration:  http://www.samhsa.gov


    Policy Adopted:  05/18/2017
    Amended: 04/11/2019; 5/21/2020