CSWD comments to SCUSD Board of Education on the revision of Board Policy 5141.52, Suicide Prevention

Advocacy

Good evening, I am speaking for the Coalition for Students with Disabilities and am combining my time with Renee Webster-Hawkins:

 

  1. We acknowledge the importance of making this policy compliant with ed code in an effort to keep students safe, prevent self-harm, deaths, and trauma.
  2. We are appreciative of the removal of “law enforcement” from page five of the handout (page 2 of the policy) on the list of professionals schools would consult with.
  3. We also acknowlege the added clarity around the role of district staff in suicide prevention. But actions do speak louder than words. A policy without thoughtful action behiind it is just words on a paper, in a District that has a pattern of not following their own policies or laws for that matter. 
  4. We know of students personally in this district who have struggled with mental health issues, incuding self-harm and suicidal ideation and were met with a response that not only did not help their situation but made things worse, resulting in more trauma. Often these issues are perpetuated by discrimination and bulyling. 
  5. One of the positive steps that our District has taken in the new Grace app for students to have help at their fingertips. We hope the Grace app will be highlighted at an upcoming meeting and that there will be training for students and parents to use the app in addition to the helpful guide that was created.