3480-Suicide Prevention Youth Protection

   Policy Number: 3480

Date: January 24th, 2023


Suicide Prevention Youth Protection Policy

(Print Policy)



American Leadership Academy recognizes that suicide is a leading cause of death among young people and that a great number of youth consider and attempt suicide.  In an effort to reduce suicidal behavior and increase help-seeking behavior faculty and staff will be trained on suicide prevention.


1. Intervention: Suicide intervention means an effort to prevent a student from attempting suicide.

2. Postvention: Suicide postvention means mental health intervention designed to prevent or contain contagion and promote the healthy recovery of the affected community after the suicide attempt or death of a member of the school community.

3. Risk Assessment: An evaluation of a student who may be at risk for suicide, conducted by the appropriate school staff member.

4. Self-harm: Behavior that is self-directed and deliberately results in injury or the potential for injury to oneself.

5. Suicide: Death caused by self-directed injurious behavior with an intent to die as a result of the behavior.

6. Suicide Attempt: A self-injurious behavior for which there is evidence that the person had at least some intent to harm himself or herself.  A suicide attempt may result in death, injuries, or no injuries.

7. Suicidal Behavior: Suicide attempts, intentional injury to self, associated with at least some level of intent, developing a plan or strategy for suicide, gathering the means for a suicide plan, or any other overt action or thought indicating intent to end one’s life.

8. Suicidal Ideation: Thinking about, considering, or planning for self-injurious behavior which may result in death.


In accordance with state law, each elementary and secondary school will select and implement an evidence-based youth suicide prevention program for students that includes the following components:

1. Life affirming education, including the concepts of resiliency, healthy habits, self-care, problem solving, and conflict resolution.

2. Methods of strengthening the family and a youth’s relationships in the school.

In accordance with state law, each secondary school will select and implement an evidence-based youth suicide prevention program for students that also includes the following components:

1. Prevention of youth suicides.

2. Youth suicide intervention.

3. Postvention for family, students, and faculty.

4. Prevention of underage drinking of alcohol and substance abuse.

5. Prevention of bullying and cyberbullying.

6. Decreasing the risk of suicide among youth who are not accepted by family for any reason or suffer from bullying.

As part of the school’s suicide prevention program, school personnel may ask students questions related to youth suicide prevention, intervention, or postvention.

Crisis Response & Assessment

If a school employee or school resource officer believes a student is at risk of attempting suicide, physical self-harm, or harming others, the school employee, or school resource officer may intervene and ask a student questions regarding the student's suicidal thoughts, physically self-harming behavior, or thoughts of harming others for the purposes of: 

1. Referring the student to appropriate prevention services, and

2. Informing the student's parent.

If a school employee becomes aware that a student is experiencing a crisis that may involve risk of harm to self or others, that individual should respond as follows:

1. If the information comes directly from the student, expressed either verbally or through behavior, the school employee will:

a. Obtain basic information from the student about the crisis, and

b. Immediately share the information with the school administrator or counselor.

2. If the information comes from another person such as a peer or a parent, the school employee will:

a. Obtain the student’s name and basic information about the crisis, and

b. Refer the situation to the school administrator or counselor before the end of the school day, or at the beginning of the next school day if the information is shared outside of school hours.

When a school employee identifies a student in crisis, the student will be seen by a school administrator or counselor within the same school day, or at the beginning of the next school day if the information is shared outside of school hours.

1. The purpose of the meeting is to gather all further information necessary about the crisis in order to assess the risk.

2. If the school administrator or counselor cannot meet with the student within the time frame listed above, he or she must document why such meeting was delayed.

In situations where a student exhibits any level of risk for suicide, or has threatened to commit suicide, the student’s parent will be informed by the school administrator or counselor without delay.

1. The school administrator or counselor will contact the student’s parent with a personal phone call and with an invitation to come in immediately to meet with school personnel.

2. Documentation must be made of this contact.

3. If no parent is available, the school administrator or counselor must determine, based on the extent of the ideation, whether to call the emergency contact, police, Division of Child and Family Services (DCFS), 911, or wait until such time as a parent is available.

4. If the school administrator or counselor reports the matter to DCFS, it is the responsibility of DCFS to notify the student’s parent.

If the parent meets with school personnel, such personnel will discuss the crisis situation, identify available resources, and determine whether the student should be checked out of school.

In the event that the student is checked out of school, the parent should communicate with the school administrator or counselor before the student returns to school.  Upon a student’s return to school, the school administrator and/or counselor must follow-up with the student in a reasonable amount of time based upon the circumstances.

Parent Notification

The school must create and maintain a record that verifies the parents were notified of the threat involving their student. This record must include the date of contact, time of discussion, and information given to parent.

Documentation should be kept in a locked file and not in a student’s cumulative file.  A school may not disclose this record, including any information obtained to prepare the record, to a person other than:

1. The student’s parent;

2. The student involved; or

3. The person identified to receive such information in a court order.

A school may not use this record, including any information obtained to prepare the record, for the school’s own purposes: 

1. For a report or study;

2. For a statistical analysis; or

3. To conduct research.

A school shall:

1. Provide a student a copy of a record maintained in accordance with this section that relates to the student if the student requests a copy of the record; and

2. Expunge a record maintained in accordance with this section that relates to a student if the student:

a. Has graduated from high school; and

b. Request the record be expunged.


Employee training 

1. Training will be provided for all teachers, school counselors, and other staff who have direct student contact, that includes the following: a. information about prevention of youth suicide, youth suicide intervention and postvention, and b. identification of relevant school staff and their roles in a crisis.

2. All licensed educators are required to complete a minimum of two hours of professional development training on youth suicide prevention every three years.

3. This training shall complement the state mandated training on bullying and cyber-bullying training.

Parent training 

1. The district shall offer a seminar for parents of students in the school district that:

a. Is offered at no cost to parents;

b. Begins at or after 6:00 p.m.;

c. Is held in at least one school located in the school district;

d. Covers mental health, depression, suicide awareness, and suicide prevention, including education on limiting access to fatal means; and

f. Discusses resources that are available in the school and community for families and how to access them.

Resources Available

Students or families needing immediate assistance may call:

1. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: The Lifeline is a 24-hour, toll-free suicide prevention service available to anyone in suicidal crisis or their friends and loved ones.  For assistance, call 1-800-273-8255.

2. SafeUT: Call a crisis counselor at 1-833-372-3388 or through the SafeUT App available on your phone.

3. If there is a threat to loss of life or an emergency situation that requires the immediate assistance of emergency medical services, call 911.