Missed Class - Oct. 14 1998 (KM)

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Bill Johnson and Teen Suicide Review of Videotape Missed Class: October 14, 1998 Submitted by Kim McDonald

Topics Discussed:

1. What are the signs of a suicidal student? 2. What professional(s) should teachers report a suspected Suicidal student? 3. What, if any, counseling should a teacher administer to a student with suicidal thoughts? 4. Will teachers be notified when a student returns after a suicide attempt? 5. What process does Dr. Johnson utilize to determine the level of risk for suicide? 6. What if parents resist intervention? 7. What if children resist intervention? 8. Do students who shoot or attempt to shoot other students have similar signs? 9. What are his experiences with Satanism?

Bill gave clear and simple answers to all of the questions above. I found it quite difficult to completely hear everything that was said, but I heard enough to get the major points.

The most important information presented was when he answered the question: What is the role of the educator when suicidal thoughts are suspected?

He stated that at school there simply is not enough time for teachers to counsel teens at great length. He then explained who to report to, school nurse or principal, social services or the counseling center. He did suggest that if the teen was someone that you could spend some time with you could attempt to draw out enough information to determine how likely a suicide might be. He also explained, in simple terms, the process he utilizes to determine what stage of suicidal thoughts and tendencies the teen is currently at.

Professionally teachers are required to report students who suggest or discuss suicide with them. He suggested that we make the teen aware that we are required to report such information.

I have worked with Bill Johnson as an educator and on a local board for a child-care center. I would have liked to have been present to hear him speak it really was quite hard to hear him in the video.

-- Anonymous, February 05, 1999

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