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Confidentiality

March 25, 2010

School counselors are not provided confidentiality or privileged communication by law.  However, confidentiality guidelines exist in a variety of professional and legal documents. Although a broad definition of confidentiality is not provided to counselors by law, it is expected that counselors will handle information regarding students in an ethical manner. Counselors will not share information with others except when an individual has a legitimate, recognized, educational need to have the information; when a student intends to harm himself/herself or another individual; when a parent of a student, or a student of legal age, provides a statement authorizing the release of information; or in other situations as provided, by law, will keep information confidential regarding a student who is pursuing help in overcoming a drug or alcohol problem.

Waverly School Counselors will inform parents/guardians or appropriate authorities when the student's condition indicates a clear and imminent danger to the student or others. This is to be done after careful deliberation and, where possible, after consultation with each other or other counseling professionals.  Counselors will attempt to minimize threat to a student and may choose to 1) inform the student of actions to be taken, 2) involve the student in a three-way communication with parents/guardians when breaching confidentiality or 3) allow the student to have input as to how and to whom the breach will be made.  Waverly High School, and therefore counselors, desire to collaborate with parents/guardians whenever practical and appropriate in an effort to meet the needs of students. It is expected that counselors will use sound judgement in contacting parents/guardians whenever appropriate and necessary to assist in the resolution of student concerns. The counselor will be in contact with the parents/guardians in the case of a potential suicide. Information may be shared with parents/guardians within the limits stated by law.

 

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