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Lee Ann Lowder Deputy General Counsel phone: 3-5955 fax: 3-1769 CPS New Counselor Training January 27, 2012.

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Presentation on theme: "Lee Ann Lowder Deputy General Counsel phone: 3-5955 fax: 3-1769 CPS New Counselor Training January 27, 2012."— Presentation transcript:

1 Lee Ann Lowder Deputy General Counsel phone: fax: CPS New Counselor Training January 27, 2012

2 No Friending Students on Facebook Acceptable Use Policy – No use of private accounts to communicate with students

3 Parental Consent for Counseling? Not unless its group counseling in IEP for students with a disability

4 Disclosure of mental health records to Parent/Guardian Students under 12: parent/guardian Students 12-17: If student is informed and does not object If counselor does not find compelling reason to deny access

5 Required Disclosures to Parents Current physical and mental condition Diagnosis Treatment Needs Services Provided Services Needed, including medication, if any

6 Longitudinal Study of Bullies 60% of boys who were bullies in middle school had at least one conviction by age % had three or more convictions. Bullies were four times as likely as peers to have multiple convictions.

7 Children Who Bully are More Likely to: Get into frequent fights/be injured in a fight Steal, vandalize property Drink alcohol Smoke Be truant, drop out of school Report poor academic achievement Perceive school as negative Carry a weapon

8 Children who are bullied have Lower self esteem Higher rates of depression More absences More suicidal ideation

9 Students doubt adults will intervene – Only 35% believed teachers were interested in stopping bullying – Even fewer -- 25% -- believed administrators were interested in stopping bullying

10 Safety of LGBTQ Students 84% reported verbal harassment 18% reported frequently hearing homophobic remarks Only 15% reported that school staff intervened when they overheard these remarks

11 Lawrence King (1994–2008) In 2008, this 8 th grader, who had been repeatedly harassed at school because of his sexual orientation and dress, was murdered by a classmate in his Oxnard, California classroom.

12 CPS Student Code of Conduct SCC Anti-Bullying Statement – The Chicago Public Schools prohibits any and all forms of bullying by students and will not tolerate acts of retaliation for making a report of bullying. – School staff shall identify and stop bullying behavior and refer perpetrators for appropriate discipline in accordance with this Student Code of Conduct. 27

13 SCC & Non-discrimination Policy – 3-4 Offensive language, gestures based on sex – 4-5 Battery – 5-4 Use of intimidation, credible threat of violence, persistent severe bullying – Report Sexual Harassment to Principal, AP or EOCO,

14 LGBTQ Students Board Rule 1-9 and CPS Non- discrimination Policy prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.

15 Nabozny v. Podlesny, 7 th Cir. (1996) Gay student – subjected to daily verbal harassment – suffered mock rape – sustained internal injuries from repeated kicking – >1 suicide attempt Principal – Boys will be boys. – Act gay, expect abuse.

16 Principal, AP & School Held Liable School officials violated Equal Protection by treating Nabozny differently than female students who were victims of dating violence

17 CPS Employee Discipline Code – 5-9: Any cruel, immoral conduct or communication that causes psychological or physical harm to a student Discipline: Discharge – 4-2: Negligent supervision resulting in psychological or physical injury to student Disciplinary Options: 1-30 day suspension, Warning Resolution, Discharge

18 Grant v. Board of Trustees of Valley View School Dist., IL Appellate Court (1997) Students told School Counselor that HS senior made suicide threats and wrote suicide notes School Counselor spoke with student, advised mother to take student to hospital for drug OD treatment – Did not advise mother of suicide threats Student jumped off overpass to his death

19 Grant, contd Mother sued District and School Counselor for failing to – Call ambulance – Inform her of suicide threats – Implement a Suicide Prevention program

20 Public Employee Immunity Public employees and entities arent liable for – Injuries caused by failure to make adequate mental examination to determine if person is danger to self or others – Injuries resulting from diagnosing or failing to diagnose mental illness or addiction

21 Public Employee Liability School employees are liable if – Conduct is intentional or done with conscious disregard or indifference to students safety – They knew or should have known that their conduct posed a high probability of serious physical harm to the student

22 Grant Majority, contd Failure to call ambulance – School counselors conduct was not intentional or indifferent because she advised mother to take student to hospital

23 School Counselors failure to advise mother of suicide threats – Court found her conduct may have been negligent, but was not intentional or indifferent Grant Majority, contd

24 Grant Dissent – Dissenting Judge thought the School Counselor acted with deliberate indifference to the threat and should be held liable. – She had knowledge of an impending danger (suicide threats) but failed to exercise ordinary care to prevent it.

25 Grant Court Directive The suicide death of a teenager is tragic. School counselors and other school personnel should take every suicide threat seriously and take every precaution to protect the child.

26 Confidentiality Illinois School Code No school student records or information contained therein may be disclosed or released except to a school employee or official with current demonstrable educational or administrative interest in the student, in furtherance of such interest.

27 CPS Employee Discipline Code 3-6 Violating the confidentiality of student records – Disciplinary Options: 1-15 day unpaid suspension Warning Resolution

28 Albers v. Breen, Ill. App. Ct. (2004) Seventh grader told School Social Worker/ LCSW he had been shoved and kicked and would rather be dead than go to school. SSW promised mother she would not disclose the names of the bullies. SSW gave the bullies names to the principal, who disciplined them.

29 Albers, contd Parents removed student from school Sued Principal, Social Worker and District for violating MHDDCA

30 Court found SSW acted in good faith in disclosing the bullies names because she thought the student was at risk of harm from shoving and kicking, and also because of his suicide threat. Albers, contd

31 Thanks for your attention! Questions?


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