Violence and threats of violence are taken very seriously in the Maple Ridge – Pitt Meadows School District. As such, the district provides parents/guardians with a Fair Notice about its Violence Threat Risk Assessment (VTRA) policies and protocols.
As a part of this Fair Notice, we advise that:
- Staff, parents/guardians, students and community members must report all threat-related behaviours;
- All threats must be taken seriously, investigated and responded to;
- All threats are investigated by the school’s multi-disciplinary Threat Assessment Team, which may include the principal, vice-principal, school counsellor, a member of the Safe and Caring School team, and police;
- The threat assessment process may include interviews with students, the threat maker, parents/guardians and staff to determine the level of risk and to develop an appropriate response;
- The threat assessment process will continue even if the threat maker or parent/guardian refuses to participate;
- Interventions plans are developed and shared with parents/guardians, staff and students as required.
Although the majority of threats or rumours of potential threats are ultimately determined without cause and/or not credible, the school district nevertheless takes all threats seriously and investigates them thoroughly.
In the event of a threat or rumours of a potential threat, the school advises the school district and contacts the Ridge Meadows RCMP, who conduct a careful investigation and respond as appropriate. Once the RCMP complete their work, district Safe and Caring Schools personnel conduct their own investigation, which may include a Violence Threat Risk Assessment (VTRA) – a process designed to ensure the continued safety of students and staff.
In cases where the RCMP determine that a public safety message is warranted, the school, school district and Ridge Meadows RCMP work together to prepare and issue a timely and factual public notice. In cases where the RCMP determine there is no threat and a public safety message is not required, the school will typically limit its communications to the parents/guardians whose children may have been involved in the investigation.*
Staff, parents/guardians, students and community members should report all threat-related behaviours directly to the school. Similarly, parents/guardians or students who have concerns about a threat or about rumours of a potential threat should contact the school principal directly. Please be aware that social media is not a good source of information in such situations as it typically provides information that is sensationalistic, inaccurate, and potentially detrimental to any ongoing investigation.
* Notification to the broader school community may still be issued in circumstance where the RCMP have determined a public safety message is not warranted but there is significant community concern.
From time to time, the Ridge Meadows RCMP will issue a Suspicious Person Notice to raise public awareness about a concerning incident that occurred in the community and to get public help in identifying the individual(s) involved. While the school district shares such notices with parents/guardians on the parent portal, the messages themselves can only be prepared and approved by the RCMP.
To file a suspicious person report, please contact the Ridge Meadows RCMP directly. If you feel that the school community should be made aware of the incident, follow-up with the school principal so that the school is aware you have made a police report. Please be aware, however, that the final decision to issue a Suspicious Person Notice will ultimately rest with the Ridge Meadows RCMP.
If you have other school safety concerns involving your child, please follow the school district problem solving process for school-based concerns: https://www.sd42.ca/appeal-process/