ISCA Weekly Chair Post
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What's New?
October 31, 2019

Increasing Risk Management Concern for Schools -
Suicide Prevention

In 2017, the second leading cause of death by young people ages 10 - 19 was suicide. Schools are being advised that they have an increased and evolving responsibility to prevent, assess the risk of and respond to suicide risk behaviors.

According to attorneys, Sarah Fay and Laura Stones of Schwartz Hannum, PC " A recent trial court decision sheds new light on the extent to which educational institutions may have an obligation to prevent student suicides and how related claims will be litigated. On September 9, 2019, in  Tang v. Harvard College, et al , a Massachusetts Superior Court denied Harvard College's motion to dismiss claims that the University and its employees were negligent in failing to prevent a student suicide."

While this case is still pending, guidance is being provided to schools on how to fulfill their 'duty of care' responsibility on this particular issue. In 2019, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, American School Counselor Association, National Association of School Psychologists and The Trevor Project, published " Model School District Policy on Suicide Prevention: Model Language, Commentary and Resources. " While this guidance is provided for public school districts, it is an adaptable and valuable resource for independents schools looking to create policies in this area.

Timely webinar to address legal issues:

ISCA Webinar
How the Board Chair, Head of School and Legal Counsel Can Best Work Together Routinely and During a Crisis
November 18, 2019
1:00 - 2:00 pm Eastern

Weekly Chair Post written and compiled by
Bethany Di Napoli, ISCA Executive Director

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