PAC Meeting

To the parents and guardians of Port Hardy Secondary students. There will be a PAC meeting tomorrow, Thursday, October 23rd, at 7:00 pm in the PHSS multi-purpose room

Threat Assessment – FAQ’s

What is the most efficient way to communicate that a threat has been made?

All threats should be reported. All threats should be reported to the Principal or the Vice Principal. If the threat is immediate, call 911.

What is a threat assessment?

Whenever a threat is reported, or seen or heard by others, it has to be evaluated as substantive (a high risk of follow through) or transient (not likely to occur). A process called Threat Assessment permits groups to collect and share relevant information about the nature of the threat, the history of the threat maker and the victim, the circumstances leading to threats, and a process for resolution and treatment. Threat assessments seek to identify the level of commitment of the threat maker, the language of commitment, plausibility, and factors contributing to the issuing of the threat.

What is involved in a threat assessment?

Two critical principles guide the assessment of threats:

  1. All threat makers are not equal, and
  2. Most threat makers are unlikely to carry out their threats.

Despite these principles, all threats are treated as serious.

In order to judge the nature of the threat once it has been revealed, the protocols allow for agencies to work together and share information openly. This information sharing enables the organization to evaluate factors such as: context; the idea that this may be a “cry for help;” the ability to carry out the threats (is there access to weapons?); escalation of existing behaviours based on historical evidence (written and anecdotal).

Usually, the agencies involved include (but are not limited to):

  1. School Administration/District Administration
  2. Counselors, Probation Officers, Social Workers, Psychologists
  3. Teachers
  4. RCMP
  5. Youth Mental Health

There is no limit to the sharing of information, as the many layers will lead to a clearer picture of the threat maker, the antecedent events and the steps for resolution and long-term treatment planning.

Do personnel in SD85 have training in completing threat assessments?

Yes. In 2009 and 2011, staff in SD 85 were given training in Threat Assessment, Levels I and II. The training was delivered in Port Hardy and Comox by Kevin Cameron, Executive Director for Canadian Centre for Threat assessment and Trauma Response. Mr. Cameron developed the protocols for Threat Assessment after incidents of school shootings in Littleton, Colorado in 1998, and in Taber, Alberta in 1999. In 2010, SD85 developed a local Threat Assessment Protocol, under the guidance of Mr. Cameron.

Where can I go for more information?

E.R.A.S.E. Bullying – Expect Respect and a Safe Environment   www.erasebullying.ca

(Adapted from Violent Threat Risk Assessment Training Guide, Kevin Cameron)

Information Update

A story is being communicated around the community that a PHSS student was at school on Friday with a bb/pellet gun, making threats. Police are investigating this situation.

School administration was made aware of this alleged incident on Sunday morning, through an alert to a Facebook post. School and district administration are co-operating fully with the RCMP investigation.

We strongly believe that the safety of all students and adults at PHSS is of the utmost importance and we are taking all necessary steps to ensure that PHSS is a safe school for all.  The RCMP and the school are continuing with their investigations.  A student suspension from all school district properties and events remains in place and there are no plans at this time to lift the suspension.

Lauren Deadman, Principal
Port Hardy Secondary School
SD #85 DL School