Duties of Teachers and Administrative Staff
Any person licensed as administrative or instructional personnel by the Board of Education and employed by Winchester Public Schools School Board who, in the scope of his 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, contact at least one of such student’s parents to ask whether such parent is aware of the student’s mental state and whether the parent wishes to obtain or has already obtained counseling for such student.
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 has reason to believe, as a result of direct communication from the student, that the student is at imminent risk of suicide;
3. Assure the parent/guardian that the student is currently safe;
4. State the legal requirement for the call, citing Va. Code § 22.1-272.1;
5. Ask the parent/guardian whether he or she is aware of the student’s mental state;
6. Ask the parent/guardian whether he or she wishes to obtain or has obtained mental counseling for the student;
7. Provide names of community counseling resources if appropriate and offer to facilitate the referral; and
8. Determine the parent’s intent to seek appropriate services for the student.
Abuse or Neglect
If the student has indicated that the reason for being at imminent risk of suicide relates to
parental abuse or neglect, this contact shall not be made with the parent. Instead, the 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
JHG 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.
Inability to Reach Parent/Guardian
If the staff member is unable to make contact with the parent/guardian by the end of the school day, then the principal shall seek treatment for a student without the parent’s/guardian’s utilizing local community agencies.
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. If the parental/guardian contact is made and relevant issues of abuse or neglect are discovered, the staff member shall report the abuse or neglect in accordance with policy JHG.
March 17, 2003; Revised June 21, 2004, September 5, 2006, August 8, 2011____________
Legal Refs: Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, sections 22.1-272.1 and 63.2-1509;
VA Board of Education “Suicide Prevention Guidelines,” (Revised 2003).
Cross Refs: JHG Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting
EB School Crisis Emergency Management, and Medical Emergency