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Horizon School Division
Creating a better world, one student at a time.
AP 354 - Violence Threat Risk Assessment

Background
Horizon School Division is committed to creating and maintaining an environment in schools where students, staff, parents/caregivers, and others feel safe. As such, the Violence Threat Risk Assessment (VTRA) Protocol shall be used for responding to student threats/high-risk behaviours.

The Stage 1 VTRA Team is composed of the principal, the school counsellor, and an RCMP officer. The primary purpose of the Stage 1 VTRA Team is data collection and immediate risk reduction interventions. 

A Stage 2 VTRA is recommended by the Level 1 Team when a more comprehensive response including risk evaluation, long-term intervention, and treatment planning are needed.  The Stage 2 VTRA Team may include mental wellness services, professionals, physicians, child protection staff, and others.

High-Risk Behaviours include, but are not limited to, possession of weapons, bomb threats, threats to kill or injure others, and fire setting. Threats may be written, verbal, posted on the internet, or made by gesture. They may be direct, indirect, conditional, or veiled.

Worrisome Behaviours are those that cause concern for members of the school system indicating that a student is moving toward a greater risk of violent behaviour. This may include drawing pictures, writing stories, or making vague statements that do not, of themselves, constitute "uttering threats" as defined by law, but are causing concern for some members of the school community because of their violent content.


Procedures

1.     Fair Notice

    1.1 Parents/caregivers will receive a letter annually informing them of the VTRA protocol that Horizon School Division has in place and that any threat risk assessment and supporting process may involve multiple community partners.

2.     Duty to Report

    2.1 Any person in a school having knowledge of worrisome or high-risk student behaviour or having reasonable grounds to believe there is a potential for high-risk behaviour, shall immediately report the information to the Principal and/or designate.

    2.2 No action shall be taken against a person who makes a report unless it is made maliciously or without reasonable grounds.


3.     Duty to Respond

    3.1 The Principal shall respond to all worrisome or high-risk/threat-related behaviours. All worrisome and high-risk behaviours shall be taken seriously and assessed accordingly.

    3.2 The Principal shall lead the Stage 1 VTRA Team with the support of the Superintendent of Student Supports. 


4.     Immediate Risk Response Procedures

    4.1 If a report is determined high-risk behaviour, the Principal and/or designate shall contact the RCMP immediately and take steps to ensure the safety of all those in the school by activating established procedures, such as school evacuation or school lockdown.

    4.2 The principal shall notify the Director of Education as soon as possible following the initial police contact.
     

5.     High-Risk Behaviour

    5.1 Upon receiving a report of high-risk behaviour, the Principal and/or designate shall initiate the protocol for the Stage 1 response of the VTRA Team in order to assess the behaviour.

    5.2 The Principal shall notify the parents/caregivers of the student making the threat at the earliest opportunity, as well as the parents/caregivers of those students against whom the threat was made.

    5.3 When information collected, as part of the Level I response, suggests that a student is on a pathway to serious violence, the Stage 2 VTRA team would be requested through the Superintendent of Student Supports.

    5.4 In order to protect others and/or the threat maker, students may be suspended from school by the principal during the assessment period.

    5.5 The VTRA Team (Stage 1 and/or Stage 2) shall guide the process from initial assessment to planning interventions to decrease risk, to plans for re-entry into school where a suspension has occurred.

    5.6 If circumstances warrant, and following the completion of necessary assessments, team members may work with the student(s) and their parent(s) to complete an Intervention Plan that becomes a signed contract by all participants.
     

6.     Duty to Victims and Others

6.1 The school counsellor shall ensure that appropriate support is provided to those against whom threats have been made.

7.     Violence Threat Risk Assessment Report

    7.1 The Principal shall be responsible for completing a Violence Threat Risk Assessment Report, which shall be kept in the students VTRA file on CLEVR.

    7.2 The notification of a completed Violence Threat Risk Assessment Report will be placed in the student's cumulative record.

 

Reference:  Section 141, 150, 151, 152, 153, 154, 155, 156, 157, 158, 159, 160, 162, 175, 191, 192, 193 Education Act

March 31, 2021

Revised: October 25, 2021

Revised: June 8, 2022