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Counselor to Emphasize Responsible Reporting

Responsible Reporter November 8, 2018
Dear Parents/Guardians of Sixth Graders, 
A relationship with trusted adults at home and school is one of the strongest protective factors for our students. We at Eden Hall Upper Elementary 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 be happening with our students during the week of November 12th.  
Beginning next week, Mrs. Jennifer Miller, Eden Hall Upper Elementary School Counselor, will be talking to our sixth-grade students and introduce the term “Responsible Reporter.” 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 what is happening through social media such as Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook, being aware of hurtful rumors or bullying, and seeing or hearing something at school, parties, games, after-school activities, and any other social events or situations.     
Mrs. Miller 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. Mrs. Miller has 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.
Bookmarks will be provided to students to keep as a reference. The bookmark gives phone numbers to call at any time with a concern about the safety of a student. One is the Re:solve Crisis Network (1-888-7-YOU CAN /1-888-796-8226) and the other is the District Tip Line (724-449-TIPS). School Counselors will also review with students the risk factors and warning signs of suicide. Please review the district’s policy on Suicide Awareness, Prevention and Response and resources about this topic, and visit the district’s website for parent resources. It is important to understand the Risk Factors and Warning Signs of suicide as well as steps to take to assist in providing supports to those who may be struggling. For more information, please view the powerful short video linked here, featuring suggestions from teens on what to say to someone who may be at risk for suicide and ways to keep them safe. 
We understand that this presentation may be difficult for some of our students to hear at this time. Students who would like to be excused from the responsible reporter education, please notify your child’s teacher and she/he may go to our school library during the classroom session. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your child’s school counselor or myself. 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.
Steven M. Smith
School Principal
Eden Hall Upper Elementary School
Jennifer Miller
School Counseling Department Chair & Counselor
Eden Hall Upper Elementary School