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Responsible Reporting Lessons at PRMS

Dear Parents/Guardians,  

A relationship with trusted adults at home and school is one of the strongest protective factors for our students.  We at Pine-Richland Middle School continue to empower our students to build resilience, which is the ability to adapt well in the face of hard times.  As part of our health and safety curriculum, a special conversation will occur with our students on January 29, 2020.   

During our Wednesday Activity schedule, teachers will be talking with our middle school students and discuss risk factors of suicide and the importance of responsible reporting.  We will emphasize to our students that responsible reporters are aware of the situations around them and are to tell a trusted adult when they have a concern about the health and safety of themselves, their friends, acquaintances, their family members, or other adults.  Situations include being aware of hurtful rumors or bullying, and seeing or hearing something at school, parties, after school activities, or social media.

Teachers will ask students three basic questions that trigger being a responsible reporter: 

  • Can (or will) someone get hurt?
  • Is someone talking about death, suicide, or hurting oneself?
  • Am I thinking about death, suicide, or hurting myself?

 If the answer is yes to one or more of these questions, we are educating our students to seek help immediately by reporting this situation to a trusted adult.  During the school year, we are recommending that students report their awareness of a harmful situation immediately to two adults - one at home and one at school.  The Pine-Richland Middle School staff have assisted students with identifying trusted adults in the school environment through previous classroom lessons and will continue to review with students examples of trusted adults at school.

We encourage all parents and school staff to review Preventing Youth Suicide Risk Factors and Warning Signs, as well as the enclosed Helping Handout for the Home Environment. It is important to understand the risk factors and warning signs, as well as the steps to take to assist in providing support to those who may be struggling. Students who are experiencing suicidal ideation often do not directly seek help. Parents, school personnel, and students can recognize the warning signs and observe changes in behavior. If you recognize or hear of any information that raises concern we recommend the following:  

    • As a first option, we encourage our students to talk with one trusted adult at home and school.  
    • Call 911 if there is any indication that danger appears immediate.
    • Do NOT leave the child alone until his or her safety is made certain.  
    • Directly report a potential concern to the Northern Regional Police Department (911) or anonymously through The Pine-Richland TIPS Line: 724-449-TIPS (8477).
    • Safe2Say: 1-844-SAF2SAY or Safe2SayPA.org - This program operates 24/7 and allows one to report a secure and anonymous safety concern to help identify and intervene upon at-risk individuals before they hurt themselves and/or others. 
    • Resolve Crisis Network:  1-888-7-YOU CAN (1-888-796-8226) - All calls are answered 24/7 by a mental health counselor. 
    • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255 - All calls are answered 24/7 by a mental health counselor.
    • Crisis Text Line - Text “HOME” to 741-741 to text with a crisis counselor 24/7. The Crisis Text Line is similar to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and other hotlines but allows those in crisis to text in rather than call.

 

We understand that this presentation may be difficult for some of our students to hear at this time.  If you would like your student to be excused from the suicide prevention and responsible reporter education, please notify your child’s School Counselor and she/he may go to our school library during the classroom session. We strive to empower our students to build academic and social-emotional skills in order to promote personal achievement and resilience, as well as a sense of belonging and well-being.  Thank you for working with us to strengthen the resiliency in our students.  

 

Sincerely,

Dr. David Kristofic                                

School Principal                                          

 

Mr. Jacob Minsinger

Assistant Principal

 

Mrs. Olivia Mastrangelo

School Counselor

 

Mrs. Jennifer Mullaugh

School Counselor