• Social / Emotional and Mental Wellness:     Student Suicide Prevention


    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States.  For youth between the ages of 10 and 24, suicide is the second leading cause of death, and the third leading cause in Alabama.  The Jason Flatt Act works within a state's requirements for in-service or Certificate Training by adding youth suicide awareness and prevention as part of that state's training for educators.   

    The Jason Flatt Act, which amends Section 16-28B-8 of the Code of Alabama 1975, provides that "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":


    The Jason Flatt Act was passed in order to equip education institutions and their personnel to recognize and act on signs of suicide risk in order to provide prevention, intervention and postvention with students at risk, their families and the communities who may be affected.  This act includes prevention of harassment and violence.  School systems will:

    • Develop individual, family, and group counseling services related to suicide prevention.
    • Make referral, crisis intervention, and other related information available for students, parents, and school personnel.
    • Provide training for school personnel who are responsible for counseling and supervising students.
    • Increase student awareness of the relationship between drug and alcohol use and suicide.
    • Educate students in recognizing signs of suicidal tendencies and other facts and warning signs of suicide.
    • Inform students of available community suicide prevention services.
    • Support cooperative efforts between school personnel and community suicide prevention program personnel.
    • Promote school-based or community-based, or both, alternative programs outside of the classroom.
    • Develop strategies 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.
    • 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.
    • Provide training for school employees and volunteers who have significant contact with students on the local Board policies to prevent harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence.
    • Educate and empower students on how to prevent suicide, harassment, intimidation, violence, and threats of violence.
    • Provide annual training for all certified employees in suicide awareness and prevention.  This training may be provided with the framework of existing in-service training programs or as part of required professional development offered by the local school system.


    Students are expected to treat other students with courtesy, respect, and dignity and comply with the Code of Student Conduct.  Students are expected and required to

    • comply with the requirements of the law, policies, regulation(s), and rules prohibiting harassment, violence, or intimidation and
    • to comply with the systems' prevention strategies related to suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention support.


    Any person involved in a cause of action or omission resulting from the implementation of this suicide prevention policy or resulting from any training, or lack thereof, required by this section shall be subject to state immunity law.


    This policy and any procedures and rules developed and approved to implement the policy will be published, disseminated, and made available to students, parents, and legal guardians, and employees by such means and methods as are customarily used for such purposes, including publications on the school system's website. (Policy 5.83)