Virginia Tech lawsuit isn’t about suicide – It is about suicide prevention

Reston, Virginia father William Kim wants to prevent other families from enduring the indescribable pain of losing a child to suicide. His son, Virginia Tech senior Daniel Kim, died in 2007 from a gunshot wound to the head – just weeks after the school had received an email from one of their son’s friends detailing his suicidal behaviors.

In our lawsuit filed last week, Virginia Tech and its administrators are charged with negligence – not for his suicide – but for failing to follow its own published protocols for dealing with a suicide emergency. The school’s protocols require that any student threatening suicide “be seen by the psychologist on call.”

Daniel Kim was never seen by the psychologist on call or any trained mental health professional or contacted by anyone from the University and, sadly–the warning email was never shared with Kim’s parents.

As part of this lawsuit, the Kims are asking that the university assist in the passage of legislation to require parent notification when a serious threat to their child is present.