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Expert in School Violence to Speak at Emporia State

March 9, 2016

Five in 2016 so far, 18 in 2015, 36 in 2014 — in total, more than 100 incidents have occurred in the U.S. in the last 10 years involving guns, students and schools. Some of these were suicides, some were mass shootings, some were the result of arguments — all affected the schools, educators, and surviving students.

How can events like this happen? What can prevent them from happening? What systems need to be in place should such a thing happen at your school? 

Dr. Scott Poland, an internationally recognized expert on school crisis and youth suicide, will give The Teachers College annual lecture at 7 p.m. Monday, March 21, addressing these issues. The event will be in Emporia State’s Webb Hall in the Memorial Union; the talk is free and open to the public.

“Scott Poland is the premiere expert in the nation on responding to acts of violence in a school setting and preparing community for effectively preventing acts of violence, especially youth suicide,” said Dr. Ken Weaver, dean of The Teachers College. “In his presentation, Dr. Poland will explore the important roles educators and community members have in preventing school violence.”

Considered a pioneer in school suicide prevention, Poland has testified before the U.S. Congress on four occasions. He is a licensed psychologist who works with schools regarding student self-injury, school violence, threat assessment and school crisis and has authored or co-authored five books on the subject, the latest being “Suicide Intervention in the Schools” published in 2015. Currently he is a professor at and the co-director of the Suicide and Prevention Office at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

“I believe it’s very important that everybody understand that schools are very safe places,” Poland said in a video discussing his field. “Less than 1 percent of the violent deaths for children in America occur on school grounds. It is very important that we all think prevention. Prevention is up to you and it’s up to all of us...to work together.”  

Poland has also worked in the aftermath of hurricanes in Texas, Louisiana and Florida, with communities after the 1995 Oklahoma City federal building bombing, and after the events of Sept. 11, 2001. He has personally been invited to eight communities to provide leadership in response to youth suicide clusters and has consulted with schools about youth suicide numerous times. He has also been an expert witness in numerous legal cases.

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