The Norman Transcript


September 28, 2012

NPS works to prevent suicide, bullying

NORMAN — NPS stresses communication in suicide prevention

As the state reels from the tragic suicide of 13-year-old Stillwater student Cade Poulos, school officials are continuing to implement strict anti-bullying policies and emphasize the importance of communication in suicide prevention.

“The Norman school district has an ongoing and very proactive approach to creating a safe environment for students and teachers, and it is constantly reinforcing a very clear anti-bullying policy with extensive training and procedures for teachers and administrators,” said Sharon Heatly, NPS director of guidance and counseling.

The crux of the anti-bullying policy? Reporting incidents.

“NPS stresses the importance of reporting any and all incidents of bullying,” said Shelly Hickman, NPS community relations coordinator. “We cannot mitigate situations or problems without knowing they exist.”

According to Heatly, the district is working on a new section of the NPS website, dedicated to addressing safety issues and providing information on bullying resources.

While bullying is a major priority, it is only one aspect of promoting students’ overall emotional well-being, particularly in the area of suicide prevention.

“It’s so important to be attentive and even simply ask a child, ‘Are you OK,’” Heatly said. “Middle and high school-aged students are going through some difficult transitions and need to feel like they belong and are cared for.”

For adults or students who are concerned about a child or peer, Heatly said the best course of action is to notify a child’s parents and report concerning behavior to parents, teachers, school counselors or other authority figures right away.

“In counselor training, the two questions we ask children who exhibit concerning behavior are a) Do you want to hurt yourself and b) Do you have a plan to end your life,” Heatly said. “If the answer to either question is yes, then immediate treatment is necessary. Studies show that asking these questions does not lead to suicide. Rather, it’s the best way to reach out and make sure those in need get fast help.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Chamber Banquet During annual banquet, Chamber of Commerce promotes moving Norman forward

    Amidst the backdrop of music, dancing, dinner and fellowship, business leader Mike Fowler announced that the time for a quality-of-life initiative in Norman has come. As incoming Norman Chamber of Commerce board chairman, Fowler and ...

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Symposium speaker Paul Polik: Commerce can help and bring millions out of poverty

    How to harness the power of commerce to address social and environmental challenges in sustainable ways was the topic of discussion at the University of Oklahoma Center for the Creation of Economic Wealth’s fourth annual Social ...

    April 18, 2014

  • Amber waves turn gray as farms lose younger generation

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Jerry Pfeiffer was thrilled when his son, Kelsey, 25, announced plans to return to the family’s farm in Orlando....

    April 18, 2014

  • Postal retiree luncheon set

    A postal retiree luncheon will be 11:30 a.m. Monday at Golden Corral Buffet and Grill, 123 N. Interstate Drive in Norman. Diners will meet in the lobby. For more information, call Joyce Carle at 872-5157....

    April 18, 2014

  • Flapjack fundraiser set

    The Apple Gold Group, a franchisee of Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill and Bar, will partner with the Global Outreach Team at Go Church to host a Flapjack Fundraiser on April 26. Proceeds raised will be used by team members to purchase ...

    April 18, 2014

  • OU Hornsemble goes to the movies

    The OU Hornsemble will present a concert of music from the cinema at 6 p.m. April 27 in the Paul F. Sharp Concert Hall. Billed as “Movie-Time Music,” the ensemble will present a wide variety of cinematic music from the 1940s to the ...

    April 18, 2014

  • Judge asks pointed questions in gay marriage case

    DENVER — A judge in Colorado who will play a pivotal role deciding whether gays should be allowed to wed in the United States asked pointed questions Thursday about whether Oklahoma can legally ban the unions....

    April 18, 2014

  • Fallin disappointed SBAdenied loans

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Gov. Mary Fallin said Thursday she is disappointed that a federal agency denied a request for loans to businesses in two Oklahoma towns affected by an emergency bridge closure....

    April 18, 2014

  • Sudan: 12 die after mob attacks UN base

    JUBA, South Sudan — An angry mob of South Sudanese youths attacked a U.N. base on Thursday to harm members of an ethnic minority sheltering inside. Peacekeepers were forced to open fire, amid rampaging violence that killed at least 12 ...

    April 18, 2014

  • Woman bound over for trial

    A Slaughterville woman facing a manslaughter charge after the death of an 8-year-old child was bound over for trial this week after a preliminary hearing in Cleveland County District Court. Kimberly Dawn Wenthold, 29, was charged in ...

    April 18, 2014