This letter is to inform you that the Halton District School Board is a signatory and active partner in the region wide Violence Threat Risk Assessment (VTRA) Protocol along with many community partners. This Protocol enables us to more effectively respond to situations where students may pose a threat to themselves or others.
Threat assessment protocols are mandated for every board in Ontario. The purpose of a VTRA is to determine how best to support the student so their behaviour does not become violent or self-injurious. Please note that other community partners such as the Halton Regional Police Service and community agencies serving youth who are signatories to the Protocol may become involved in a VTRA because it is critical to have as much information available as possible in order to provide effective support to children in need.
The VTRA Protocol outlines how a school responds immediately to threatening incidents including but not limited to: possession of a weapon or replica weapon; bomb threat or plan; verbal or written (including electronic) threats to harm oneself or others, and fire setting. The initial response team will include the Principal and/or Vice Principal(s), the Halton Regional Police Service, and certified Board staff; other community partners and additional Board staff may be included as necessary.
Parents and guardians will be notified if their child will be discussed at a VTRA. If parents/guardians cannot be reached, or if they choose not to provide consent but a concern for safety still exists due to threatening behaviour, the threat assessment will still proceed. Personal information shared throughout this process will respect and balance each individual’s right to privacy with the need to ensure the safety of all. As always, student safety is our first priority.
The Halton District School Board will respond to all threats in a professional manner in order to provide healthy and caring learning environments for all students and staff. Additionally, we will be educating students about school safety and reinforce their understanding that threat making behaviours are not acceptable.
The Halton District School Board is proud to be able to provide this level of support to our students and is most fortunate to have our community partners working with us. Should you have any questions about our community VTRA Protocol or other Safe Schools matters, please call 905.335.3665 x 3389.
Superintendent of Education
Safe & Accepting Schools
Halton District School Board