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
- Acts of racism, discrimination or hate
- 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.
VSB Student Threat Risk Assessment Protocol - Fair Notice