After a Suicide: A Toolkit for Schools | 60 Making Decisions about School-Related Memorials This tool poses questions to consider about both planned and spontaneous memorials associated with a school, although not necessarily sponsored by the school. Examples include a school event, student-created memorial, and a page in a yearbook. • • Does the school or school district have a policy (or standard procedure) on memorialization for the death of a student (or school staff person), regardless of the cause? o o If yes, how would implementing what is usually done for other types of deaths be done for a death by suicide? How might those procedures be interpreted with a suicide? For example: If a memorial page in the yearbook is a standard procedure, are there other deaths (from other causes) during the school year that would also have pages or be on the same page? Could a memorial page also have a message to promote help-seeking among students or a similar supportive message? o o If no, look at districtwide practices or consult with other schools. • • Has the family expressed a desire for or opposition to any public acknowledgment of the death as a suicide? • • How might a memorial on school grounds help facilitate (or impede) grieving of the loss by students and school staff? • • How will the school deal with a spontaneous memorial initiated by students? • • Could a memorial be something other than a physical object, such as a suicide prevention program? • • What other ways are there for students to acknowledge and express their grief following a suicide? • • When would be a good time to memorialize a student’s death? o o Does the plan for memorialization coincide with other student events (e.g., graduation)? • • How might the memorial procedure affect vulnerable students? Teachers and other staff? o o Is there a way to memorialize so that a life-affirming message is the focus? • • If the school puts up a physical memorial, what will the students and staff who were not at the school during the year of the death be told about the memorial?