I am writing to share our planning for providing information to all students about mental health and suicide awareness.
This week, a small group of selected students from Newton South and Newton North will meet with district mental health professionals to preview a nationally recognized suicide prevention curriculum, and to help design and develop a one-hour class session for all high school students.
By the end of November, a larger number of students will be trained to help counselors present the developed program to all high school English classes in both high schools during the month of December.
We have heard loud and clear that many students (and adults) feel that Newton South has a sufficient bullying prevention program, and we need more time to discuss mental health issues instead. And while we do not disagree with this sentiment, we also must implement a year-long anti-bullying curriculum in order to satisfy state law. To be fair, each year we have revised our anti-bullying curriculum based on student and teacher feedback, and we do believe that the messages we discuss during our anti-bullying session are important and helpful. This Thursday’s half day will include an anti-bullying session in the morning as planned, and then we will present our newly designed mental health curriculum in December after we have trained students and counselors.
As always, please contact guidance counselors and housemasters with any concerns about your child.