VTRA – Violence Threat Risk Assessment Fair Notice
Everyone Has A Duty to Report!
Often when we hear in the media of a violent incident, we learn that the threat-maker had made threats in advance of acting violently. To keep our school and community safe, students, parents, staff, and community members must report all threat related behaviours and high-risk activities.
Threat-Making or Worrisome Behaviour
Behaviour RCS is committed to providing a safe and supportive environment for all. Threatening comments and behaviors are taken seriously; if you receive a threat of any kind, report this to someone in the school administration immediately. RCS will take decisive action when a serious threat has been made. Threat assessment is the process of determining if a threat maker (someone who utters, writes, emails, etc., a threat to kill or cause harm to a target or targets) actually poses a risk. Many students, and others, engage in threat-making behaviour but research indicates that few pose a risk of harm to the target they have threatened. Multi-disciplinary threat assessment teams engage in a data collection process, through structured interviews, to determine “initial levels of risk” that may be posed and plan necessary risk-reducing interventions. Although a student of concern may be assessed as low risk there may be data that indicates a more comprehensive risk assessment is required.
Worrisome behaviours are those that cause concern for members of the school system and which may indicate that a student is moving toward a greater risk of violent behaviour. This would include instances where a student may be engaging in behaviours such as drawing pictures, writing stories in class, 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.
What is a Threat?
- A threat is an expression of intent to do harm or act out violently against someone or something.
- A threat may be verbal, written, drawn, posted electronically or made by gesture.
- A threat may include any high-risk behaviour such as possession of a weapon.
The high-risk behaviours addressed in this protocol include but are not limited to
- Verbal/written threats to kill or cause grievous bodily harm
- Internet website threats to kill or cause grievous bodily harm
- Possession of weapons (including replicas)
- Bomb threats
- Fire setting at school
- Group related intimidation and violence
- Sexual intimidation or assault
What is Threat Assessment?
- Threat assessment is the process followed when a school becomes aware of a threat made against a student, staff member, or the safety of the school building and its occupants.
- When any form of threat is made, a threat assessment team will investigate and appropriately enact the Violent Threat/Risk Assessment (VTRA) Protocol. A VTRA Team is made up of individuals who have received threat assessment training.
What is a Risk Assessment?
- Risk assessment is a process that goes beyond the initial VTRA process. This is a process that looks at a student’s history, baseline behaviour, and potential for harming unspecified targets at unspecified times.
- Risk assessment is used when a specific threat has not been made, yet a level of risk exists.
Can I refuse to participate in a threat assessment process?
It is important for all parties to engage in the 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 promote a safe and caring learning environment.
The school is subject to personal information privacy laws, and will undertake the collection of this information in compliance with the requirements of such laws, including by limiting collection to information that is relevant and necessary to address a risk or threat and by ensuring that information is collected from online source is only obtained from open source sites. The school will not collect information as part of a threat assessment unless there is reason to believe that a risk exists. Information collected as part of a threat assessment may be provided to law enforcement authorities in appropriate circumstances.
These situations include armed intruders inside the building or on the periphery who pose a risk to some target or targets.