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Violent Threat Risk Assessment (VTRA)

This page provides information to help assess whether a threat is Imminent or Not Imminent and the protocol to follow accordingly.

A threat is an expression of intent to do harm or act out violently against self, someone else or something. Threats may be verbal, written, drawn, posted on the Internet or made by gesture. Threats are serious, and it is important to determine whether or not a threat poses imminent risk.

  • Assess situation
    • Imminent Threat 
      •  If weapon involved or serious/plausible threat within the building
    • Not an Imminent Threat
      • Outside the building 
      • Threats, threat-related, or worrisome behaviour indicating potential harm to self or others (speech, action, assignments, etc) is serious but not imminent. Please discuss with your Administrator to help assess and determine next steps.
    •  Sample Threat Assessment Protocol (SD35) flowchart page 12
General information applicable to  the above:  
  1. Immediately contact your Administrator who will then follow-up as needed. 
    1. This would include suicidal behaviour or self-harm, violent threat toward student, staff or school, sexual assault, pornography.
    2. Threats can take the form of written assignments, art, spoken words, text messages, photos, or online social media postings.
  2. If a cell phone with a threat is confiscated, remove the SIM card, or immediately turn the phone to airplane mode. 
  3. Turn the phone into an administrator. Do not take screenshots or forward photos which could be considered pornographic material.
  4. Reminder to also complete an Incident Report and follow direction from Flex Directors.
Reminder for threat protocol and all lockdowns:
  • Do not speak to the media
  • Freeze all outgoing messaging; restrict all student cell phone use to keep communication lines open for all leaders involved.
  • Put all cell phones to “silent mode”
  • Await and follow further direction
  • Director and/ or Heads of School to review follow up email to parents prior to sending and determine next steps.
  • Follow-up with incident report and action points as determined together with team involved

Imminent Threat Protocol

This protocol is for addressing threats that are immediate or imminent, where there is a clear and present danger to students or personnel.

  1. Call 911
  2. Adhere to the Lockdown procedures (Code Red) as outlined below
  3. Call the Director or Assistant Director of Flex as soon as possible to alert them of the scenario
  4.  Ensure all physically present are safe and calm
  5. Adhere to Police and HoS direction
  6. Return to class or escort students to parent for pickup when indicated safe to do so
  7. Complete an Incident Report and follow directions from the Director.
  8. Send draft general parent email communication to Heads of School and Flex Director(s) for review/ approval
    • Upon approval, send general parent email communication 
  9. Flex Director(s) with Heads of School, will together determine next steps, possibly including: 
    •  Initiation of Student at Risk Team
    •  Further investigation with other authoritative bodies if warranted
    •  Follow-up and debriefing if and when safe to resume classes
    •  Email specific communication to parents and students and re-entry considerations for all involved (this is in addition to general email communication above, if deemed necessary).

    Stranger on the Premises

    Teacher or Supervising Adult:

    1. Do not compromise your own safety or the safety of students.
    2. Assess the situation as you approach, keeping your distance.
    If the stranger’s behaviour is NOT threatening:
    1. Ask if they need assistance.
    2. Direct the stranger to the appropriate supervisor, monitor or escort them accordingly.
    3. Notify a Flext Director immediately; report the stranger’s location and description.
    If the stranger’s behaviour appears THREATENING but has not escalated to violence:
    1. Notify a Flex Director immediately
      1. Report the stranger’s location and description.
      2. Call 911 
    2. Keep a safe distance.
    3. Follow instructions from the appropriate supervisor.
    4. Adhere to the Not an Imminent Threat Protocol.
    If you see a violent/armed and dangerous stranger within the premises:
    1. Initiate a Full Lockdown (Code Red) and adhere to the Imminent Threat Protocol.
    2. Call 911 and proceed as indicated above

    Not an Imminent Threat Protocol

    If threat exists nearby, within the vicinity or community:

    1. The school will Contact our local police liaison for further information/ advisement. If unknown, contact a Flex Director or Head of School for further instruction.
    2. Adhere to the Hold and Secure procedures outlined below or continue as directed.

    During and following a threat, steps include:

    1. Keep your teachers informed of the developments to help keep everyone calm.
    2. During and/or Following, contact a Flex Director to discuss and determine course of action.
    3. At the end of the day, escort students to their respective parent/ guardian.
    4. Submit an Incident Report
    5. Flex Director(s), with Heads of School, will determine next steps, possibly including: 
      1. Initiation of Student at Risk Team
      2.  Further investigation with other authoritative bodies if warranted
      3.  Follow-up and debriefing if and when safe to resume classes
      4.  Follow-up communication/email to parents will be drafted in conjunction with Flex Admin and approved by HoS prior to distribution to families.