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ERIC Number: ED498521
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 10
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
Coping with Multiple Suicides among Middle School Students. Lessons Learned from School Crises and Emergencies. Volume 2, Issue 2
US Department of Education
"Lessons Learned" is a series of publications that are a brief recounting of actual school emergencies and crises. This "Lessons Learned" issue addresses the experience of a school district where three middle school students hung themselves within a three-week timeframe. Although deaths were apparently unconnected, the school district is part of a large Hispanic community, and all three students were Hispanic, prompting district administrators and school personnel to be particularly sensitive to the cultural and linguistics need of the community in forming response strategies to help students, faculty and the community cope with and recover from the events. The events described underscore a school district's need to (1) Implement prevention and intervention programs; (2) Create confidential outlets of support; (3) Collaborate with community partners, including mental and public health officials, to create an all-hazards emergency response plan; (4) Provide for immediate, short-term and long-term response and recovery activities; and (5) Address all four phases of emergency management (prevention-mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery) in response plans. The report concludes that schools play a key role in preventing suicide and identifying at-risk students. If a suicide occurs, it is important to minimize the trauma felt by the school community, reduce the likelihood of copycat or future suicide attempts, provide support to those having difficulty coping, and quickly restore the learning environment. An in-place, all-hazards emergency management plan will include a structure for working with community partners and the families of suicide victims, and a trigger for activating a crisis response team to provide immediate mental health services to the overall school community, assisting schools and school districts to foster a caring environment that emphasizes the need for intervention to work though loss and prevent future suicides. [This publication was produced by the Emergency Response and Crisis Management (ERCM) Technical Assistance (TA) Center and the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools (OSDFS). For Volume 2, Issue 1 of this series, see ED495927.]
US Department of Education. Available from: ED Pubs. P.O. Box 1398, Jessup, MD 20794-1398. Tel: 877-433-7827; Fax: 301-470-1244; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Department of Education, Washington, DC.