Maryland School 
 Psychologists' Association

Fall 2016 Conference MSEA Conference Day (Administrators, Counselors, Social Workers, & Teachers Welcome)

  • 21 Oct 2016
  • 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
  • Martin's West, 6817 Dogwood Road, Windsor Mill, MD 21244

Registration is closed

MSPA Fall 2016 Conference

Friday, October 21, 2016

Get your ethics/law CPD/CE hours for your upcoming certificate or license renewal!

Registration opens June 1, 2016

Legal and Ethical Issues in School Crisis 

Scott Poland, Ph.D.

Co-Director of Suicide and Violence Prevention at Nova Southeastern University, Founding member of the NASP National Emergency Assistance Team, Past NASP President, Past Prevention Director for the American Association of Suicidology

Martin's West

6817 Dogwood Road
Windsor Mill, MD 21244



School crisis has increasingly become part of the curriculum in university training programs around the United States, but the practitioner in the schools faces a myriad of complex ethical and legal issues when a crisis occurs that expose them to potential criticism and legal liability. This presentation will review cases where school personnel have been sued over issues such as failure to obtain parental consent before telling students the truth about a crisis situation. Legal action against school personnel has also been taken for failure to notify parents when students were known to engage in non-suicidal self-injury or suicidal behavior. Many questions have also been raised about the school’s responsibility to obtain mental health services for suicidal students and whether or not a suicidal student should be allowed to leave school without adult supervision.  Key issues from a legal standpoint are foreseeability and negligence and courts have found schools liable when parents were not notified or school personnel failed to increase supervision and obtain counseling services for students known to be in crisis.

A new term has also emerged “bullycide” as parents of suicide victims have attempted through legal channels to hold schools accountable for the suicide of their child. The question of whether or not schools have a responsibility to provide postvention procedures to assist grieving students and siblings after a suicide has also been raised in one legal case brought against a school district.

Parents of students injured or killed in school violence have sued schools for conducting what they believed to be an inadequate threat assessment and for failure to take steps to keep the school safe. Threat assessments have also resulted in the expulsion of many students and in one current court case the parents of the expelled student are suing the school believing that the school overreacted to the alleged threat and that their child suffered irreparable damage to his reputation. One state, Colorado through legislative action removed the sovereign immunity normally granted to school personnel if an act of violence occurs at school. The outcomes of these cases will be presented in light of implications for the practicing school psychologists. Participants will leave with a clear understanding of a number of legal cases and their implications for practice and training and how to protect themselves from potential liability. 

Program Overview

8:00 – 9:00      Registration and Continental Breakfast

9:00 – 12:00     Legal and Ethical Issues in School Crisis

12:00 -1:00       Lunch

1:00 - 4:00       Legal and Ethical Issues in School Crisis


Learning objectives for this conference are as follows:

  1. Participants will analyze the lessons learned from school crisis lawsuit brought against schools.
  2. Participants will be able to describe the importance of parent notification when a student is known to be suicidal and implement NASP best practice model interventions with suicidal students.
  3. Participants analyze the lessons from lawsuits against schools for inadequate threat assessments.
  4. Participants will review the research about the relationship between bullying and suicide and assess the outcomes of lawsuits against schools filed by parents who believe their child’s suicide was the result of the schools failure to stop the bullying their child received.     

CPD/CE Credits:

Documentation of attendance for 6 hours of Continuing Professional Development Continuing Education (CPD/CE) credit will be provided to certified school psychologists and licensed psychologists who complete the entire workshop.  Partial credit cannot be awarded.  In order to receive CPD/CE credit, attendees must arrive no later than 15 minutes after the start, and may not leave prior to 15 minutes before the end of the program.  The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) and hence the Maryland Board of Examiners of Psychologists recognize MSPA as an approved provider of CPD/CE for psychologists (NASP APS #1002).  MSPA maintains responsibility for the program. 


Important Information:

Online Registration ends on October 20, 2016. 


USPS Registration must be postmarked by October 3, 2016. Late fee goes into effect October 4th. 

Requests for refunds must be submitted, in writing (email to or USPS), no later than October 3, 2016

Requests for interpreters must be received no later than September 21, 2016.

Requests for a Kosher meal must be received no later than October 7, 2016.   

Meeting rooms are wheelchair accessible and any participant that requires any special services (such as an interpreter), should note this requirement on the registration form at least one month in advance of the conference.  Interpreters cannot be hired after September 21, 2016.  Persons with questions or special needs should contact: Amy Jagoda at (410) 386-1818 or .  

If you want confirmation of your registration, please include a stamped, self-addressed postcard.  Your attendance certificate acts as your receipt (monetary receipts are available at the conference upon request).  Registration is limited and accepted on a first come, first served basis. Reimbursement requests for registration cancellations will be honored until October 3, 2016.  Reimbursement requests after that date cannot be guaranteed. Register and pay online by going to or mail registration forms and checks to: MSPA Fall Conference, P.O. Box 1859, Westminster, MD 21158.  CREDIT CARD PAYMENTS WILL ONLY BE ACCEPTED THROUGH ONLINE REGISTRATIONS.    

Download Brochure here to mail in registration and check.


Vision: All students will thrive in school, at home, and throughout their lives.

Mission: MSPA promotes and advocates for best practices in school psychology to improve learning, behavior, and mental health for all students, families, and schools.

Direct website related questions to Direct other questions to the appropriate board member at Executive Board or Officers.

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