The parents of a bullied student who committed suicide in 2009 have filed a lawsuit against the Hillsborough School Board claiming school officials failed to take proper steps after learning their daughter showed signs of being suicidal.
Lessons Learned: If a student signs “a formal contract in which she expressly agreed not to commit suicide” at school with a school social worker…does the school have the responsibility to tell the student’s parents about the signed contract?
School boards and school leaders need to make sure their policies and procedures define situational awareness – what steps should be taken in different situations – so counselors, social workers, principals, resource officers, nurses, etc. are not putting students, families, communities and schools at risk.
This tragedy, this lawsuit and many other situations offer valuable lessons learned for school boards and school leaders. However, school boards and school leaders must be proactive to ensure they adjust their policies and procedures, make sure the right people have the updated policies and procedures, understand the policies and procedures, acknowledge the policies and procedures and make sure all related steps in this ongoing process are documented to prevent bullying, future tragedies and lawsuits.