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Scott  Poland

Scott Poland

Internationally Recognized Expert on School Crisis


Dr. Scott Poland is an internationally recognized expert on school crisis, bullying prevention, youth violence, suicide intervention, self-injury, school safety and threat assessment. He is widely considered a pioneer in school suicide prevention, having authored one of the most respected works on the subject in his 1989 book entitled, Suicide Intervention in the Schools. He is also the Past Prevention Division Director for the American Association of Suicidology. Dr. Poland recently co-authored Suicide in Schools (2015), which provides school-based professionals with practical, easy-to-use guidance on developing and implementing effective suicide prevention, assessment, intervention and postvention strategies. Read More >

He has lectured and written extensively on these subjects, including five books and numerous Best Practices chapters, with his writings being translated into several languages. He served on the President’s Roundtable on Youth Violence and has testified about the needs of children before the U. S. Congress on four occasions. Dr. Poland was a founding member of the National Emergency Assistance Team for the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP). He has led multiple national crisis teams following numerous school shootings and has assisted schools and communities after terrorism acts in New York, Washington, D.C., and Oklahoma. Dr. Poland has been involved with approximately 20 cases where school were sued after a suicide or an act of violence and has many practical ideas for what schools can do to prevent tragedies and to protect themselves from liability.

A notable expert in raising children during challenging times, Dr. Poland has also worked in the aftermath of hurricanes in Texas, Louisiana and Florida. He has personally been invited to eight communities to provide leadership in response to youth suicide clusters and has consulted with schools about youth suicide countless times. He has also been an expert witness in numerous legal cases.

Dr. Poland is a Past President of the National Association of School Psychologists and was the Director of Psychological Services (1982-2005) for the Cypress-Fairbanks ISD, a large Texas school district that received numerous state and national awards for its exemplary psychological services. He has received many individual honors, including being named a finalist for the national school psychologist of the year, named the most outstanding school psychologist in Texas twice, named the most outstanding psychologist in Texas and he has been nominated twice for the NASP Lifetime Achievement Award. He also received the Houston Wage Peace Award.

Dr. Poland is currently a Professor and the Co-Director of the Suicide and Violence Prevention Office at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He specializes in parent presentations, where he works with parents to educate them on raising a child during a difficult time, in addition to preparing them to prevent school violence and suicide. His expertise on such important topics in today’s national conversations will influence audiences to act and support the youth of the present and future. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

Strengthening Schools: Preventing Bullying

On School Violence

Helping Parents

Speech Topics

Schools & Youth Suicide: Contemporary Issues in Prevention/Intervention & Postvention

The incidence of youth suicide requires that schools and communities collaborate and increase suicide prevention efforts and that they be prepared to respond if a suicide occurs in order to reduce suicide contagion. This module will help school and community mental health and administrative personnel increase their understanding of the most common factors in youth suicide. Participants will learn best practice strategies to prevent youth suicide and lessons from the aftermath of numerous suicides.

Non Suicidal Self Injury: Critical Issues for Schools

School personnel and community agencies are increasingly faced with referrals of students who are engaging in self-injury most commonly referred to as NSSI. This presentation will provide practical guidelines about how to detect this behavior and intervene to support these young people and will answer the question of whether students engaging in self injury are suicidal. Read More >


Self-injury by students with cutting being the most common has caught school personnel, parents and community personnel by surprise. Several theories have been identified to explain this behavior with a history of trauma being the common denominator. This module will outline the many factors involved in this complex behavior and provide sample guidelines for school and community strategies to help students reduce their self-injurious behavior.

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Responding & Recovering: Lessons Learned from the Front Lines to Help Students & Schools in the Aftermath of Tragedy

The incidence of accidental, homicidal and suicidal deaths of students requires that schools and communities be prepared to respond to these tragic events and manage emotionality. Many if not every school has been faced with the death of a student or a staff member. This presentation will help school personnel, and community agencies develop and enhance their ability to respond to critical incidents and provide students and staff with the assistance and support needed. In addition, the complicated issue of memorialization and what is appropriate at school will be outlined. Developmental issues for children and their understanding of death will also be shared. In addition, strategies will be shared to help build student resiliency.

Bullying & Schools: Keys to Prevention & Intervention

Bullying in schools is an international issue and a number of media reports have attributed youth suicide to be largely the result of being victimized. Many young people get bullied but thankfully very few die by suicide. Research has emphasized the long term impact of bullying victimization and has indicated that students with disabilities are often the target of bullying. Participants will learn the key roles for administrators, counselors and teachers in bullying prevention. This module will help school personnel, and community agencies develop a comprehensive bullying prevention program and learn how best to support those that are victimized and how to intervene with those that are the bullies.