Privacy of Information: Your Rights and My Policies
What to expect:
The purpose of meeting with a Student Assistance Counselor (SAC) is to talk about a student's life, things that may be bothering them or that keeping them from being most successful. Your child is speaking with the SAC because either you the parent/guardian, school personnel, or a friend had a concern.
It is important that students feel comfortable talking about the issues that are bothering them. Therefore you the parent/guardian should be informed of their rights to confidentiality and my policies.
Privacy, also called confidentiality, is an important and necessary part of good counseling. Some of the things we discuss a student may not want their parents or guardians to know about. Therefore, as a general rule, I will keep the information a student shares with me confidential, unless I have their consent to disclose certain information.
There are, however, important exceptions to this rule and you should understand. In some situations, I am required by law or by the guidelines of my profession, to disclose information whether or not I have a student's permission. I have listed some of these situations below.
Confidentiality cannot be maintained when:
- A student tells me that they are thinking about or plan to cause serious harm or death to themself.
- A studen tells me that they are thinking about or plan to cause serious harm or death to someone else.
- A student tells me about physical, sexual or emotional abuse that incured in their lifetime.
- A student is under the influence of a substance while in school.
Communicating with parent(s) or guardian(s):
Except for situations such as those mentioned above, I will not tell parents or guardians specific things that a student share with me. This includes activities and behavior that a parent/guardian would not approve of — or would be upset by — but that do not put a student at risk of serious and immediate harm.