Section 16-28B-8

Suicide prevention programs, training, and policies; advisory committee; liability.

(a) To the extent that the Legislature shall appropriate funds, or to the extent that any local board may provide funds from other sources, each school system shall implement the following standards and policies for programs in an effort to prevent student suicide:

(1) Foster individual, family, and group counseling services related to suicide prevention.

(2) Make referral, crisis intervention, and other related information available for students, parents, and school personnel.

(3) Foster training for school personnel who are responsible for counseling and supervising students.

(4) Increase student awareness of the relationship between drug and alcohol use and suicide.

(5) Educate students in recognizing signs of suicidal tendencies and other facts and warning signs of suicide.

(6) Inform students of available community suicide prevention services.

(7) Promote cooperative efforts between school personnel and community suicide prevention program personnel.

(8) Foster school-based or community-based, or both, alternative programs outside of the classroom.

(9) Develop a strategy to assist survivors of attempted suicide, students, and school personnel in coping with the issues relating to attempted suicide, suicide, the death of a student, and healing.

(10) Engage in any other program or activity which the local board determines is appropriate and prudent in the efforts of the school system to prevent student suicide.

(11) Provide training for school employees and volunteers who have significant contact with students on the local board policies to prevent harassment, intimidation, violence, and threats of violence.

(12) Develop a process for discussing with students local board policies relating to the prevention of student suicide and to the prevention of harassment, intimidation, violence, and threats of violence.

(13) Provide annual training for all certificated school employees in suicide awareness and prevention. This training may be provided within the framework of existing inservice training programs or as a part of required professional development offered by the local school system.

(b)(1) The State Department of Education shall create an advisory committee consisting of practitioners and representatives from all of the following organizations:

a. The School Superintendents of Alabama.

b. The Council for Leaders in Alabama Schools.

c. The Alabama Education Association.

d. The Alabama Association of School Boards.

e. The Jennifer Claire Moore Foundation.

f. Other pertinent mental health and suicide prevention organizations as determined by the department.

(2) The advisory committee shall assist the department in developing and adopting rules to provide for the training of certificated school employees in suicide awareness and prevention pursuant to subdivision (13) of subsection (a).

(3) The department and the advisory committee may develop a list of approved training materials to fulfill the requirements of subdivision (13) of subsection (a). Approved training materials may include, but not be limited to, any of the following:

a. Training materials that are currently being used by a local school system.

b. Training materials that provide instruction on identifying appropriate mental health services, both within the school system and within the larger community.

c. Training materials that may be completed through self-review.

(c) Each local school system shall adopt a policy on student suicide prevention. To assist local school systems in developing their own policies for student suicide prevention, the department and advisory committee shall establish a model policy for use by local school systems in accordance with this section.

(d) Any person involved in a cause of action or omission resulting from the implementation of this section or resulting from any training, or lack thereof, required by this section, shall be subject to Section 36-1-12.

(Act 2009-571, p. 1674, §8; Act 2016-310, §3.)