Violence Threat/Risk Assessment
All students and staff are entitled to work and learn in environments that are welcoming, caring respectful and safe. As a Division, we are committed to maintaining an acceptable standard of student behavior and decorum in the school creating an environment where educators can teach and students can learn. To this end, the following protocol shall be used for responding to student threats/high-risk behaviours.
High Risk Behaviours: Behaviours which express a plausible intent to do harm or act out violently against someone or something.
Immediate Risk Situations: Situations involving high risk that require immediate police interventions and a protective school response.
Risk Assessment: The process of determining if a child/youth of concern may pose a risk to some unknown target(s) at some unknown time.
Threat Assessment: The process of determining if a threat maker poses a risk to the target he/she have threatened.
Violence Threat/Risk Assessment, Stage I (VTRA): The primary purpose of the Stage I VTRA is data collection and initiation of immediate risk-reduction interventions. A Stage I VTRA includes the Principal (or designate), the school counselor, the classroom teacher(s), inclusive education facilitator (when involving a student with special needs) and may include a police officer.
Violence Threat/Risk Assessment, Stage II (VTRA): A Stage II VTRA may be recommended by the Stage I VTRA team when a more comprehensive response including risk evaluation, long-term intervention and treatment planning are needed. The Superintendent of Schools or designate will be contacted to initiate expansion of the team which may include mental health services professional(s), physician(s), and child protection staff.
Worrisome Behaviours: Behaviours which cause concern and may indicate that a child/youth, who is not overtly threatening or violent, may be moving towards a greater risk of violent behaviour.
- Any person in a school having knowledge of high-risk student behavior, or having reasonable grounds to believe there is a potential for high-risk behavior, will immediately report the information to the Principal and/or designate.
- No action shall be taken against a person who makes a report unless it is made maliciously or without reasonable grounds. In cases where a report is made maliciously, the person shall be dealt with according to Division procedures and the police where applicable.
- At the start of every school year, students, parents and staff will be provided with information about the protocol and procedures so that “fair notice” is given that high-risk/threatening/violent behaviours will not be tolerated.
- Schools will respond to high-risk/threat-related behaviours. High-risk behaviours will be taken seriously, assessed accordingly and responded to appropriately.
- Violence Threat/Risk Assessments (VTRA) will be initiated when required.
- When a student exhibits high risk behaviours, the Principal or designate will contact the police without delay, and take steps to ensure the safety of all those in the school by activating established security procedures. The Principal shall notify the Superintendent or designate and the Director of Learning Services as soon as possible following contact with police.
- The Principal shall notify the parent(s)/guardian(s) of the student making a threat at the earliest opportunity.
- When a student exhibits high risk behaviours the Principal or designate shall:
- Initiate Stage I of the Violence Threat/Risk Assessment. Stage I involves data collection only: determining the facts of the incident, who was involved, and any mitigating factors.
- Upon completing Stage I, the Principal or designate shall contact the Superintendent of Schools or designate is to review the findings of Stage I and decide if it is necessary to proceed to Stage II of the protocol. Stage II involves engaging the support of the appropriate additional expertise and conducting a comprehensive risk evaluation by a multi-disciplinary team.
- When dealing with students who exhibit worrisome behaviours, staff shall consult with the counselor, inform the Principal, and contact the student’s parents(s)/guardian(s).
- The Principal shall consult with the counselor and other appropriate staff as to whether or not a Violence Threat/Risk Assessment will be conducted.
- The Principal (or designate) will be responsible for completing a Threat/Risk Assessment Incident Report, which will be kept on file.
- The Director of Learning Services is responsible to ensure the effective implementation of Violence Threat/Risk Assessment Protocol in the Division.
Sections 12, 24, 45 School Act
Section 264.1(1) Criminal Code of Canada
Board Policy 12 Role of the Superintendent
Revised June 2016