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Threat Assessment

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Threat Assessment

  1. 1. Threat Assessment <ul><li>Information for Staff </li></ul>September 2008
  2. 2. What is a threat? <ul><li>An expression of intent to do harm or act out violently against someone or something. </li></ul><ul><li>Can be verbal, written, drawn, sent electronically, or made by gesture. </li></ul><ul><li>Must be taken seriously, investigated and responded to. </li></ul><ul><li>(Pembina Trails School Division Standard of Behaviour.) </li></ul>
  3. 3. Threat Assessment <ul><li>Is an assessment to determine the likelihood that a threat will be carried out. </li></ul><ul><li>Is done to help students. </li></ul><ul><li>Is done to help keep schools safe. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Critical Periods Are predictable time frames for increased threat-making behaviour.
  5. 5. Critical Periods <ul><li>Two weeks following a major traumatic incident. </li></ul><ul><li>Mid November – December break, other school breaks. </li></ul><ul><li>Month leading up to the anniversary of a violent crisis or traumatic event (ex. Columbine April 20; Taber April 28; Montreal, Ecole Polytechnique Dec. 6; Virginia Tech April 16). </li></ul><ul><li>A traumatized system may be vulnerable to increased threat-making behaviours following an incident in another location (ex. Columbine re-traumatized by Taber). </li></ul><ul><li>Anniversaries of traumatic events unique to each school and community system. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Teachers and School Staff <ul><li>Students will often first report concerns to individual staff members with whom they feel comfortable. </li></ul><ul><li>Staff are often the first to observe the dynamics of threat-making behaviour. </li></ul>
  7. 7. What Staff Should Watch For <ul><li>Changes in grades/behaviour </li></ul><ul><li>Not wanting to come to school </li></ul><ul><li>Changes in family structure </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of significant adult(s) in his/her life </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of Adult Supervision </li></ul><ul><li>Bullying/Victimization </li></ul><ul><li>Obsession with violence/weapons </li></ul><ul><li>Violent themes in art/writing </li></ul><ul><li>Mental Health concerns </li></ul><ul><li>Drug/Alcohol use or abuse </li></ul><ul><li>Withdrawn Behaviour </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>Threat-making behaviour is most frequently a cry for help . </li></ul><ul><li>Students who make threats may alternate between thoughts of hurting others and of hurting themselves. </li></ul>Two important hypotheses in the assessment of threat-making behaviour
  9. 9. Divisional Policy/Protocol http://www.pembinatrails.ca/policy/main.htm
  10. 10. Duty to Report <ul><li>Staff must report all threats to their administrator/ designate. </li></ul><ul><li>Students, staff, parents, and community members have a responsibility and an obligation to report all threats and threat-related behaviours. </li></ul><ul><li>Threat making is a safety issue for everyone. We are all responsible to help make schools safe and caring places. </li></ul>
  11. 11. The Threat Assessment Team <ul><li>Each school has a multidisciplinary Threat Assessment Team. </li></ul><ul><li>The Team may include the Principal, Vice-Principal, School Social Worker, School Psychologist, School Counsellor, Resource Teacher and a Police Officer. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Purpose of Threat Assessment <ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>To promote the emotional and physical safety of everyone and to prevent harm to all, including the threat maker. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>To understand the context/details of the threat. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>To ensure that the response is appropriate without over or under reacting. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>To develop a plan of support/intervention for the student making threats. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>To develop strategies to maintain the student in the school with school-based interventions and community-based services as needed. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Threat Assessment Process <ul><li>Threat-making behaviours are reported using specific and descriptive language to the Principal or designate. </li></ul><ul><li>The Principal initiates the team response. In the case of an immediate threat, 911 is called and the school may be locked down. </li></ul><ul><li>Data collection is key. Interviews may be held with students, the threat maker and staff to prevent the threat from happening and to promote early intervention. </li></ul><ul><li>Longer term planning occurs to support the threat maker and the target of the threats. </li></ul><ul><li>Plans will be shared with parents, staff and students when appropriate. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Please remember <ul><li>We need to take all threats seriously. </li></ul><ul><li>We all have a duty to report threats. </li></ul><ul><li>The majority of threats are not acted upon. </li></ul><ul><li>Responses to threats vary depending on the circumstances of the threat. </li></ul><ul><li>We need to support students who have been threatened. </li></ul><ul><li>Threats are often a cry for help. We need to help students who are making threats. </li></ul>