Institute for Small and Rural Districts-Sponsored Presenter - Scott Poland, Ph.D.

Dr. Scott Poland is a Professor at the College of Psychology and the Co-Director of the Suicide and Violence Prevention Office at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

The presenter, a licensed psychologist is an internationally recognized expert on youth suicide, self-injury, bullying, school crisis prevention/intervention, threat assessment and parenting in challenging times. He has authored or co-authored five books and many chapters and articles on these subjects. His fifth book entitled, Suicide in Schools, was published in 2015 by Routledge and is available at

He also recently co-authored the Suicide Safer Schools Plan for the state of Texas and the Crisis Action School Toolkit-Suicide for the state of Montana. He previously directed psychological services for a large Texas school system for 24 years, is a past President of the National Association of School Psychologists and a past Prevention Division Director of American Association of Suicidology. He is very dedicated to prevention and has testified about the mental health needs of children before the U.S. Congress on four occasions. Dr. Poland is a founding member of the National Emergency Assistance Team and has personally assisted school communities after many tragedies. He is well-known nationally and internationally for his dynamic and practical presentations

To learn more about Dr. Poland or to contact him, visit

General Session – School Violence Prevention: Increasing School Safety

Dr. Poland will be the presenter for the morning keynote address on Tuesday, July 17, 2018.

It is essential that that schools and communities know the incidence of school violence and be up to date on the best safety and prevention practices. This presentation will review numerous state and national initiatives that have focused on school safety and the recommendations from a variety of foundations started by parents who lost their children in tragic school shootings. The presenter has a wealth of practical experience responding to school crises and participants will learn many lessons from school tragedies and practical strategies to prevent future school violence.

Participants will be able to:

  1. Identify key factors that increase school safety and especially how to get students more involved in school safety
  2. Improve schools’ ability to assess threats of violence and determine whether a threat is substantial or transient.
  3. Identify the common characteristics and the proposed types of school shooters

Concurrent Sessions I and II

Suicide and Schools: Liability Issues

The incidence of youth suicide requires that schools increase suicide prevention efforts and that they be prepared to respond if a student is suicidal and if a suicide occurs. This presentation will help school personnel increase their understanding of the role of schools in youth suicide prevention/intervention and the importance of parent notification, documentation and follow up at school. Participants will learn lessons from the aftermath of lawsuits filed against schools after student suicides. The presenter has been an expert witness in a dozen cases in which schools were sued after suicide of a student. He and his wife, a retired school principal, authored the school suicide prevention plans for the states of TX and MT.