Highline Public Schools
15675 Ambaum Blvd. SW Burien, WA 98166

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Monday-Friday: 7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Highline Public Schools
15675 Ambaum Blvd. SW Burien, WA 98166

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The Highline School Board recognizes that suicide is a leading cause of death among youth and that 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 the district can make an initial risk assessment, the district cannot provide in-depth mental health counseling. District staff are instructed 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 officials, the student’s family and appropriate resource services.

The board also recognizes the need for youth suicide prevention procedure. The district will adopt a plan annually 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 self-harm or suicide;
  • 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 and guardians, including notification requirements in accordance with RCW 28A.320.160;
  • Describe how staff should respond to a crisis situation where a student is in imminent danger to himself or herself or others;
  • Describe how the district will provide support to students and staff after an incident of a death by suicide;

The Superintendent or Superintendent’s designee will develop and implement the plan and a staff-training schedule to achieve the board’s goals and objectives.

Cross References:
Guidance and Counseling - Policy 2140
Transgender Students - Policy 3211
Prohibition of Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying - Policy 3207

Legal References:
Washington professional educator standards board — Training program on youth suicide screening — Certificates for school nurses, social workers, psychologists, and counselors — Adoption of standards - RCW 28A.410.226
School Counselor Certification - RCW 28A.410.043
Model school district plan for recognition, initial screening, and response to emotional or behavioral distress in students - RCW 28A.320.1271
Plan for recognition, screening, and response to emotional or behavioral distress in students - RCW 28A.320.127

Management Resources:
2016 – July Issue
2014 - December Issue
2011 - April Issue

Highline School District No. 401
Adopted by the Board: October 2016
Revised by the Board: January 2020

Classification: Priority