After a Suicide: A Toolkit for Schools | 28 It is recommended that schools discourage requests to create and distribute images of the deceased, such as on T-shirts or buttons. Although these items may be comforting to some students, they may be quite upsetting to others. Repeatedly bringing images of the deceased student into the school can also be disruptive and inadvertently glamorize suicide. The school should prioritize protecting students who might be vulnerable to contagion over what might comfort students who want to remember the deceased student. If students come to school wearing such items, it is recommended that they be allowed to wear the items only for that day, and that staff explain to students the rationale for the school’s policy. Some schools have found a middle ground with students, for example, by allowing them to wear wristbands that portray a positive message (i.e., Faith, Hope, Love) as a way to honor and remember the deceased. Since the emptiness of the deceased student’s chair can be unsettling and evocative, after approximately five days (or after the funeral), seat assignments may be re-arranged to create a new environment. Teachers should explain in advance that the intention is to strike a balance between compassionately honoring the student who has died, while at the same time returning the focus back to the classroom curriculum. Students may be involved in planning how to respectfully move or remove the desk; for example, they could read a statement that emphasizes their love for their friend and their commitment to work to eradicate suicide in his or her memory. When a spontaneous memorial occurs off school grounds, the school’s ability to exert influence is limited. It can, nevertheless, encourage a responsible approach among the students by explaining that it is recommended that memorials be time-limited (again, approximately five days, or until after the funeral), at which point the memorial would be disassembled, and the items offered to the family. The school may also suggest that students participate in a (supervised) ceremony to disassemble the memorial, during which music could be played, and students permitted to take part of the memorial home. The rest of the items would then be offered to the family. Schools should discourage gatherings that are large and unsupervised. When necessary, administrators may consider enlisting the cooperation of local police to monitor off-campus sites for safety. Counselors can also be enlisted to attend these gatherings to offer support, guidance, and supervision. It is not recommended that flags be flown at half-staff (a decision generally made by local government authorities rather than the school administration, in any event). Online Memorial Pages Posting on online memorial pages and messaging sites has become common practice in the aftermath of a death. Some schools (with the permission and support of the deceased student’s family) may choose to establish a memorial page on the school website or on a social networking site. It is vital that memorial pages use safe messaging, include resources to obtain information and support, be monitored by an adult, and be time-limited. For more information on what’s involved in safe messaging, see the Framework for Successful Messaging. It is recommended that online memorial pages remain active only for up to 30 to 60 days after the death of the student. At that time, they should be taken down and replaced with a statement acknowledging the caring and supportive messages that had been posted and encouraging students who wish to further honor their friend to consider other creative suggestions. Schools should keep a copy of the memorial page after it has been taken down. This could be a print-out of the Facebook page or a series of screenshots, etc. The archive of the memorial page can serve as a reference later if there are concerns about the safety of students who left messages.