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August 1, 2007
February 1, 2021
5350 - STUDENT SUICIDE
The state of West Virginia has one (1) of the highest rates of suicide in the nation, and suicide serves as one (1) of the leading causes of death in our state. Adolescents and young adults, who are the students in our District Schools, are at particular risk. As a result of disrupted families, poverty, and the opioid crises which have severely affected a significant number of families across this state, West Virginia’s students face a number of issues that may increase their risk of suicide.
It is imperative that those employees closest to our students receive training to increase their ability to better recognize students who may be exhibiting signs that they are at risk of suicide.
Annually, the State Board of Education shall provide for the routine education of all professional educators, including principals and administrators, and those service personnel having direct contact with students on warning signs and resources to assist in suicide prevention under guidelines established by the State board.
The education may be accomplished through self-review of suicide prevention materials and resources approved by the State board.
Annually, a public middle and high school administrator shall disseminate and provide opportunities to discuss suicide prevention awareness information to all middle and high school students. The information may be obtained from the Bureau for Behavioral Health and Health Facilities or from a commercially developed suicide prevention training program approved by the State Board of Education in consultation with the bureau to assure the accuracy and appropriateness of the information.
All school personnel should be alert to the student who exhibits signs of unusual depression or who threatens or attempts suicide. Any such signs or the report of such signs from another student or staff member should be taken with the utmost seriousness.
The Superintendent shall develop and implement administrative guidelines whereby members of the professional staff understand how to use an intervention procedure which includes the following:
Step 1 - Stabilization
Step 2 - Assessment of the Risk
Step 3 - Use of Appropriate Risk Procedure
Step 4 - Communication with Appropriate Parties
Step 5 - Follow-up
Throughout any intervention, it is essential that Board policies and County guidelines regarding confidentiality be observed at all times.
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WV Code 18A-3A-2(5), WV Code 18-2-40, WV Code 27-6-