Leander ISD addresses recent student deaths

FILE - Teenagers walking in a school. (KXAN File Photo)
FILE - Teenagers walking in a school. (KXAN File Photo)

LEANDER, Texas (KXAN) — The Leander Independent School District is responding to parents’ concerns about the recent deaths of several students in its district.

In a letter sent home to parents, Superintendent Dan Troxell says the “loss of student lives has taken a tremendous toll on our community this year.” Troxell doesn’t elaborate on any death but says each one is “devastating no matter the circumstance.”

In the past week, concerned parents have reached out to KXAN saying several LISD students have recently committed suicide, but KXAN has not been able to independently confirm that information. A spokesperson for Leander ISD says they are prohibited by federal law from talking about a student’s death away from campus when it does not involve the school.

Students with Amare Outreach, a group created by two Leander High students to help teens cope, held a community gathering in Cedar Park Friday afternoon to discuss with students on how to deal with and prevent suicides.

Leander ISD says in an effort to identify students in need early on, they are working on multiple fronts:

  • The Leander ISD Board of Trustees has made mental health a legislative priority and continues to work with our elected officials to increase support for mental health.
  • Staff members are trained on campus processes and procedures to access help for students in need.
  • Staff receives annual training on awareness of signs of mental health concerns in students and suicide prevention training.
  • Students, parents and community members have access to the Anonymous Alerts system to report concerns regarding a student’s well-being or safety. All reports are investigated by a campus counselor or administrator.
  • A community-wide event, “Raising a Healthy Teen,” was held in the fall of 2016, where Leander ISD school counselors, licensed clinical social workers, and substance abuse counselors, along with community agencies provided information on mental health in adolescents.
  • All Leander ISD schools are designated as No Place for Hate® campuses. No Place for Hate® works to combat bias, bullying, and hatred, leading to long-term solutions for creating and maintaining a positive climate.

Anyone can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, 24 hours a day every day.

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