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Counselors to Emphasize Responsible Reporting

Jan. 4, 2019
 
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 24, 2019.   
 
During our weekly class meetings, 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.
 
The lesson will also focus on the importance of immediately reporting a safety concern.  We encourage students and parents to contact crisis services as soon as a safety concern is observed.  If the emergent concern arises outside of school hours, please contact the RESOLVE crisis network at 1-888-796-8226 or 911.
 
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,

David Kristofic, Ed. D., Principal

Jacob Minsinger, Assistant Principal

Mrs. Olivia Mastrangelo, Counselor

Mrs. Jennifer Mullaugh, Counselor