Fair Notice: Student Threat-Risk Assessment

Notice to our students and parents/guardians/caregivers

The Vancouver School District and our community partners are committed to having 
safe, caring and inclusive schools. In the event that a student makes a threat of 
violence or harm to other students, staff or the school community the school will 
initiate the VSB student threat-risk assessment process.

What behaviours initiate a student threat-risk assessment?

A student violence threat-risk assessment will be initiated for behaviours including:

  • Serious violence or violence with intent to harm or kill
  • Verbal/ written/ drawn threats to harm or kill others
  • Online threats to harm or kills others
  • Possession of weapons (including replicas)
  • Bomb threats
  • Fire setting
  • Sexual intimidation/sextortion or assault
  • Gang related intimidation and violence

 What is a threat?

  • An expression of intent to do harm or act out violently against someone or something
  • Threats may be verbal, written, drawn, made through gestures or posted on the Internet

Duty to report threat-making behaviour

Maintaining a safe, caring and inclusive school is the responsibility of everyone in the school community. Students, staff, parents/ guardians/ caregivers and community members must report all threat-related behaviours to their school administrator.

Duty to Respond

All threats must be taken seriously and require a response that includes investigation and intervention. Our goal is to respond to threats quickly and in a professional manner so that we can maintain a safe and caring learning environment. 

The school administrator will initiate the threat-risk assessment process, according to district protocol. Each school has a multi-disciplinary School Threat Risk Assessment Team, which includes the school administrator(s), area or school-based counsellor(s), and School Liaison Police Officer. A school may also involve district resource staff and community partners such as Child and Youth Mental Health in the threat assessment process.

What is the purpose of a student threat-risk assessment?

The VSB student threat-risk assessment process is used to:

  • Ensure the safety of students, staff, parents and others
  • Ensure a full understanding of the context of the threat
  • Understand factors contributing to the threat-makers’ behaviour
  • Be proactive in developing an intervention plan that addresses the emotional and physical safety of the threat-maker
  • Promote the emotional and physical safety of all

What happens in a student threat-risk assessment?

  • Information is gathered from multiple sources including open-source publicly-available      data. This may include interviews with the threat-maker, student(s), staff and parents/ guardians/ caregivers to assess the level of risk
  • The School Threat Assessment Team examines the information collected and, in consultation with community partners determines the level of risk
  • Appropriate intervention plans are developed, implemented and shared as required with parents/guardians, staff and students. Information shared throughout the threat-risk assessment process will respect the individual’s right to privacy and the safety of all

Can I refuse to participate in the threat-risk assessment process?

It is important for all parties to engage in the threat-risk assessment process. However, if for some reason there is a reluctance to participate in the process, by the threat-maker or parent/guardian, the threat assessment process will continue in order to ensure a safe and caring environment for all.

Download Student Threat-Risk Assessment Flyer