5.A.170 Violence Threat Risk Assessment

Safe Schools



Administrative Procedure: Violence Threat Risk Assessment

















February 2022

Policy Reference



Legal Reference






Guiding Principles:

The Border Land School Division (BLSD) together with Community Partners are committed to making our schools safe for students, staff and community members.

BLSD will respond to all student behaviours that pose a potential risk to other students, self, staff and community members.  It is hoped that early intervention measures by the school division and community partners will prevent school violence.

The effective implementation of the Violence Threat Risk Assessment (VTRA) protocol supports collaborative planning to prevent and address violent/traumatic events.  In addition, the timely sharing of information about students at risk for violence towards self and/or others will ensure that supportive intervention plans are put in place.

The strength of the school division/community partnership lies in the multi-disciplinary composition of the response team.  Without delay the response team will share and review student information and the details of the events to collaborate using a broad range of expertise.

This collaborative process will respect the individual’s rights to privacy and the safety of all.

To keep school communities safe, staff, students and community members must report all threat related behaviours.


What is a Threat?

A threat is communicating intent to do harm or act out violently against someone or something.  Threats may be verbal, written, drawn, electronic (email, Facebook, cell phone, etc.), or made by gesture.  Threats must be taken seriously, investigated and responded to.


What is Threat Assessment?

A threat assessment is a team approach to determine the credibility and seriousness of a threat and the likelihood that it will be carried out. 

Purposes of Threat Assessment:

  • To ensure the immediate safety of students, staff, parents and community members.
  • To develop and implement an intervention plan that addresses the emotional and physical safety of all parties including students, staff, parents, community members and the person making the threat.
  • To promote the ongoing emotional and physical safety of all students, staff, parents and community members.
  • To begin to understand the factors that contribute to the behaviour of the person making the threat.
  • To be proactive in developing an intervention plan that addresses the emotionaland physical safety of the person making the threat.

VTRA Teams:

Each school will identify a Threat Risk Assessment Team and will collaborate with other agencies as appropriate. The team may include the principal, vice-principal, guidance counsellor, resource teacher, school division clinicians and other agencies* including the police. These partners may participate in gathering information, analyzing information and developing and implementing intervention plans. The VTRA team will be named on the school’s Emergency Response Plan, communicated to staff at the first staff meeting of the year and will meet on an as needed basis throughout the school year. The VTRA Team provides fair notice to students and parents annually.

Fair Notice

The divisional VTRA team will be comprised of the divisional Critical Incident Support Team, the student services manager, a principal/vice-principal(s) and the assistant superintendent.

VTRA Response Protocol:

In response to an incident that results in the activation of the school based VTRA team, protocol consistent with Stage I will be followed. The VTRA team and protocol will be activated if

  1. Serious violence or violence with intent to harm or kill
  2. Verbal/written threats to kill others (“clear, direct and plausible”)
  3. The use of technology (e.g.: computer, mobile phone) to communicate threats to harm/kill others or cause serious property damage (e.g. “burn this office down”)
  4. Possession of weapons (including replicas)
  5. Bomb threats (making and/or detonating explosive devices)
  6. Fire setting
  7. Sexual intimidation or assault
  8. Chronic, pervasive, targeted bullying and/or harassment
  9. Gang related intimidation and violence
  10. Hate incidents motivated by factors including, but not limited to; race, culture, religion, and/or sexual or gender diversity


Staff Training:

In order to support teachers and support staff in Border Land School Division to respond to worrisome and/or threat making behaviours in a manner consistent with VTRA protocol, BLSD will provide formal and/or informal training for teachers and support staff in Violence Threat Risk Assessment. Formal training could be provided through the North American Centre for Threat Risk assessment; informal training will be provided by the divisional VTRA Team.

Border Land School Division expects that, at a minimum, guidance counselors, clinicians, principals, viceprincipals, and resource teachers are trained in Violence Threat Risk Assessment.  All staff will receive information related to Violence Threat Risk Assessment procedures at their school on a bi-annual basis, provided by trained teachers or by Divisional VTRA team members. 

* Note: Other agencies include but are not limited to local police, RCMP, Mental Health, and Child & Family Services.

* Appendix A: VTRA Response Flow Chart

VTRA Flow Chart 

Threat Risk Assessment Flow Chart

Border Land School Division

Border Land School Division acknowledges that the communities and schools located within Border Land School Division sit on Treaty 1 and Treaty 3 land, the original lands of the Anishinaabe peoples and on the homeland of the Métis Nation.

Border Land School Division respects the treaties that were made on these treaty areas and we dedicate ourselves to moving forward in partnership with our Indigenous communities in a spirit of truth, reconciliation and collaboration.