Threat Assessment

Our School Board and Community Partners are committed to making our schools safe for students and staff. The Board responds to all student behaviours that pose a potential risk to other students, staff, and members of the community.

The Student Threat/Violence Risk Assessment protocol and the training of Board administrators and staff in Threat and Risk Assessment is one initiative that supports our school as a safe place for students to learn. School teams assess potentially high risk student behaviour, evaluate the level of risk to others and the student exhibiting the behaviour, and communicate this in a timely manner so supportive plans are put in place to enhance safety.

What is the purpose of a student threat/violence risk assessment?

  • To ensure the safety of students, staff and parents
  • To understand, based on the data gathered, the factors that contribute to the threat maker's behaviour
  • To develop an intervention plan that addresses the emotional and physical safety of the threat maker and others

What behaviours initiate a student threat/ violence risk assessment?

A threat is an expression of intent to do harm or act out violently against someone or something. Threats may be verbal, written, drawn, posted on the Internet or made by gesture. Threats are taken seriously, investigated, and responded to in a timely manner.

A student threat/violence assessment is initiated when behaviours include, but are not limited to:

  • Serious violence with the intent to kill or harm
  • Verbal/written threats to kill others (clear, direct and plausible)
  • Internet website/MSN threats to kill others
  • Possession of weapons, including replicas
  • Bomb threats (making and/or detonating explosive devices)
  • Fire setting
  • Sexual intimidation or assault
  • Gang related intimidation and violence

A Threat/Risk Assessment may be initiated because of the context of an incident or worrisome behaviour.

What is a Threat Assessment Team?

Each school has a multi-disciplinary Threat Assessment Response Team. The team may include Administrators, School Board Psychologist, Guidance Counselors, Social Worker, school resource police officer and additional people that may include other pertinent professionals and/or community resources. Without delay, the response team will share and review student information and the details of the event to collaborate using a broad range of expertise. This collaborative process will respect the individual's rights to privacy and the safety of all.

What is the process?

All threat making behaviours are reported to our school's administration who may activate the protocol. A team is formed and people are assigned "data gathering" sources. Information may be obtained from multiple sources, which include:

  • teachers, students, targets, threat makers, parents/caregivers
  • current and previous school records
  • law enforcement
  • support groups and agencies
  • online sites - Facebook, etc.
  • locker and backpack search, bedroom search

Data collected is shared and a determination is made of low, medium, or high risk. An intervention plan is developed to reduce risk of violence.

Duty to Report

To keep our school community safe, the Board expects anyone in a school community having knowledge of high-risk student behaviour or having reasonable grounds to believe there is a potential for high-risk or violent behaviour to promptly report the information to the school Principal or designates. All Board policies, procedures and protocols align the Ministry of Education's safe schools initiatives and other appropriate legislation.

For additional information, please contact the Principal or read the Board's Student Threat/Violence Risk Assessment Fair Notice & Process brochure (PDF, 238 kB) and handout (PDF, 62 kB).