MASSACHUSETTS: As Student Suicides Rise, a Harvard Case Opens New Questions about Schools’ Responsibility
October 11, 2019
A recent lawsuit is raising questions about colleges’ role in preventing suicide on campus. After Harvard University student Luke Tang attempted and later died by suicide, his father took legal action against the school and some of its employees for failing to prevent his son’s death. The lawsuit expands on a 2018 state supreme court ruling that schools have a “limited duty” to prevent suicide if they are aware a student is at risk. Tang’s death also highlights a need to address the unique challenges faced by Asian American students at Harvard and other competitive schools. According to national data, Asian students have the highest “unmet need” for mental health counseling among their peers. Experts are calling for more research on the particular needs of racial and ethnic groups and increased access to culturally competent mental health resources on campuses.
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