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School's Liability for a Student's Suicide

Officials who hear of a student's suicide threat may be liable for the minor's later suicide.

Key Point. School or church officials who receive a report of a minors suicide threat may or may not be liable for the minors later suicide, depending on how they respond to this information.

• An Illinois court ruled that a school was not legally responsible for the suicide of a student, despite the fact that it was aware of a suicide threat made by the student. The facts of this case are tragic, but instructive. A high school student told other students that he was going to kill himself. He also wrote a suicide note. Several students reported the victims intentions to a school counselor. The counselor questioned the victim, but took no action other than to call the victims mother and suggest that she take her son to a hospital for drug overdose treatment. The counselor did not inform the mother of the victims suicide threats. The mother picked her son up from school, and while ...

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  • July 1, 1997

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