School Hotline?

Yesturday my friend called me crying, telling me the school called, saying an anonymous person called some hotline, and told the school she was suicidal. Which they are now making her have 4 days of consulling in school, and they did not even ask if she was okay,. The fed off of this persons oppion when the person is not a psychologist, or a consular.

I have a feeling that the way the school jumped to assumptions, was wrong. When you have people abusing a help line that should be there for students, how do they know what to belive.
My qustion is, do schools truly have a right to know the mental status of their students if the student is not a harm to others, or to them selfs? I am taking courses in psychology, and we did not get to anything legal yet, I just would like to know,

thank you

-Andie Kay

Answer:
Is this student above the age of 18? Or are they still a minor?

As far as school's having a right to know the mental status of their students, the right to share or withhold that information lies with the parent (if the child is a minor) or the person themselves if they are 18. However, if a school receives a tip like this, they need to follow up for liability reasons. If the student does end up doing something to themselves or another person and the school failed to act on a tip, they are leaving themselves wide open for a lawsuit.

I think it's appropriate to bring in the student and ask them some questions regarding how they feel, if the intend to commit suicide, and if they have a plan. If the child is a minor, the parents should be notified that this incident occurred so that they are in the loop.

Obviously since I wasn't involved in the particular incident you are talking about, I can't comment on if the four days of counseling is "appropriate." Hopefully they conducted some type of interview to come to this decision. I can understand your concern regarding the hotline, but schools have to take each of these reports seriously. They really can't pick and choose which ones to follow up on and which ones to ignore. Hopefully they will have staff trained to assess each situation and determine an appropriate response.

I hope this helps!
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