2000-5-2Assessing, Addressing, and Serving the High-Risk Student

Issue Date:
February 25, 2010

Upon request, the college will provide a copy of this policy in an alternate format.

Students who threaten or pose a risk of violence to themselves or others require an immediate and appropriate reaction and actions by the College. Such high-risk students often have behavioural or mental health problems that may require responses from the College and its service providers. With a coordinated and collaborative approach that identifies the high-risk student, and provides the appropriate institutional response and specific services and supports for the student, the College will be able to address effectively and efficiently the needs of these students and the College.

This policy establishes the framework and mechanisms, by which the College will identify the high risk student, organize and implement an appropriate institutional response, and monitor the effectiveness of the response and the behaviour of the student.

This policy augments, but does not supersede, the Student Rights and Responsibilities and Discipline Policy.

Policy

  1. All employees within Lambton College are expected to identify a student who exhibits threatening or disruptive behaviour.
  2. The employee should report the threatening or disruptive behaviour to the Registrar, if the behaviour or incident occurs outside the classroom or instructional setting, or to the student's program Dean if the behaviour or incident occurs within an instructional setting, per the Student Rights and Responsibilities and Discipline Policy section 2.1.2. If the report is incorrectly directed, the receiving Dean or Registrar will forward the report to the correct administrator.
  3. The Registrar or Dean who ultimately receives the report has responsibility for the incident file ("responsible administrator") and will determine if the student behaviour should be addressed through the Discipline Policy and, if so, will proceed accordingly. Whether or not the Discipline Policy is applied, the responsible administrator will record the incident and any actions taken in the Student Record file (STRK) on the Student Information System (SIS).
  4. The responsible administrator will consider the seriousness of the behaviour with respect to the presence of, or potential for imminent or future violence. If the behaviour involves violence, the threat of violence, or potential for imminent or future violence, then the responsible administrator must contact the Director of Student Success in order to consider the establishment and involvement of an Intervention Team.
  5. The formation of an Intervention Team may be initiated by the Director of Student Success when he becomes aware that a significant number of incidents, or an incident or incidents of significant seriousness, have occurred with a student.
  6. In order to ensure the awareness of the Director, all administrators responsible for dealing with student behaviour matters will record all significant incidents and any subsequent actions taken in the student records in the College information system.
  7. In instances in which the Director, Dean or Registrar is concerned with current,threatened or imminent violence, the administrator may so advise the Vice- President, Academic (VP) who may choose, per the Student Rights and Responsibilities and Discipline Policy, to suspend immediately the student. Such action will lead to the formation of an Intervention Team.
  8. The High-Risk Student Intervention Team, hereafter known as the "Intervention Team", will be a cross-functional team comprised of service and administrative representatives from some or all of Counseling, Disability Services, Health Services, the Registrar, student's program Dean and the Director of Student Success. The Director of Student Success will act as team lead. The Intervention Team may enlist additional support persons and resources if required (e.g psychologist, police).
  9. The Intervention Team will determine a High-Risk Student Intervention Plan.The Intervention Plan will address the concerns or threats raised by the student,and the needs of the student and the College, through a collaborative College response. The Intervention Plan will consist of some or all of the following components:
    1. an assessment of the situation,
    2. a plan of action,
    3. a determination of how the plan will be communicated,
    4. a determination of how the plan will be monitored,
    5. the assignment of a College contact for the student and,
    6. the assignment of emergency services specifically tailored to meet the needs of the student, if necessary.
     
  10. It is expected that the student will be an informed party to the Intervention Plan and, where possible, an active participant in developing the collaborative response to his particular needs and a situation.
  11. In instances in which threats of or actual violence are of immediate concern to the Intervention Team, it may choose to reconstitute itself, or establish a separate body, as a Threat Assessment Team. The membership of this Team will be more broadly drawn to include a member of the College executive and, if needed, professionals and police from outside the College.
  12. The Director of Student Success will report annually to the Vice-President Academic on the number of Intervention Teams and Plans formed in the year, and the status or outcome of each plan.

Procedures

Identification of Threat

  1. All employees of Lambton College are expected to identify to the appropriate administrator any student who exhibits threatening or disruptive behaviour.
  2. The incident or behaviour should be reported as soon as possible after the occurrence.
  3. The initial report may be verbal or written.
  4. A written report may be required later.
  5. The employee may wish to consult with his/her manager for assistance in considering and reporting the behaviour.
  6. If the behaviour of concern takes place in an instructional setting, the behaviour should be reported to the Dean of the student's program. Otherwise, the report should be made to the Registrar.
  7. All administrators responsible for dealing with student behaviour matters will record all significant incidents and any actions taken in response by them in the student Record file (STRK) on the Student Information System (SIS). The SIS will provide warnings to the Director of Student Success when a significant number of incidents, or incidents of significant seriousness, have occurred for a student.
  8. When the Director of Student Success becomes aware through the SIS, a responsible administrator, or a direct concern from a student or employee of student behaviour that constitutes violence, the threat of violence, or potential for future violence to herself or others, he will determine if an Intervention Team will be formed.

Formation of Intervention Team

  1. When the Director of Student Success determines, alone or in conjunction with a Dean or the Registrar that a student's behaviour warrants the formation of an Intervention Team, he will proceed to called together the appropriate members, as determined by him, to constitute the team.
  2. The Director will call the first meeting of the team and initiate the development of an Intervention Plan. If it is determined that additional members are required for the Team, the Director will contact those additional members and add them to the team.
  3. The Team will assess the particulars of the student's file in a case conference meeting.

Plan Completion

  1. The team will determine the Primary Student Contact who will be responsible for overseeing the implementation and ongoing management of the Intervention Plan.
  2. The Intervention Plan will be completed by the Primary Student Contact following consultation with the Intervention Team.
  3. The Intervention Plan is to be concise, relevant to the student's current circumstance, and drafted in point form to encourage the highlighting of key data.
  4. The Intervention Plan should contain the following components:
  5. an assessment of the situation including the student's specific behavioural manifestations of threatening behaviour  
  6. any relevant history, incident reports and documentation.
  7. a plan of action,
  8. a description of how the plan will be communicated,
  9. a description of how the plan will be monitored,
  10. the assignment of a College Primary Student Contact for the student,
  11. if necessary, the assignment of emergency services specifically tailored to meet the needs of the student
  12. intervention strategies to address a current or potential crisis, and any actual, threat of, or potential violence
  13. the stipulation that information can be shared with those service providers and interveners identified in the plan.

Plan Presentation to Student

  1. The Primary Student Contact must review the Intervention Plan with the student.
  2. The student should sign the plan in acknowledgement of it. The student's signature is not required for the Intervention Plan to be put into effect. The student’s refusal to sign the plan should be documented, and the student will be advised of the consequences of not signing.
  3. The student and the Primary Student Contact will review the Intervention Plan. The student will be made aware that information will be shared with those service providers and interveners identified within the plan.

Plan Distribution

  1. The Director of Student Success will distribute in a confidential manner the Intervention Plan to service providers and interveners as identified in the plan. Potential recipients include service areas, such as Health Services, Disability Services and Counselling, Director of Plant/Security, academic administration and others as required.
  2. Once distributed, the Intervention Plan is to be treated as confidential. Copying for further distribution is prohibited.

Plan Storage

  1. The Intervention Plan will be maintained in the central student file (STRK), which can be accessed by any authorized staff who may have interaction with the student.
  2. A copy of the Intervention Plan will be capped in the student's file in that area from which the Primary Student Contact is monitoring the intervention plan. (e.g Counselling, Disability Services or Health Services)

Plan Revision

  1. The Intervention Plan will be reviewed by the Primary Student Contact in conjunction with the Intervention Team every semester that the student is in attendance, or as needed.
  2. Changes in the student's circumstance or service needs may be reflected in a revised Intervention Plan.
  3. Once reviewed, the Intervention Plan will be dated and signed by the Primary Student Contact to indicate that the Plan is accurate and relevant and contains current information related to the student's circumstance and service needs.
  4. The revised Intervention Plan will be discussed with and signed by the student and distributed to the recipients of the original plan and any additional service providers or interveners added in the plan revision.
  5. The original Intervention Plan will be stored in accordance with the College’s record retention policies for service and academic areas.

Annual Report

  1. Annually, the Director of Student Success will report to the Vice-President Academic on the number of students for whom an intervention is in place, or has been in place during the preceding year. The report should also describe the amount of time and resources that are being directed to the threatening students and the implementation and success of the plans.

Threat Assessment Team

  1. In any case in which there appears to be significant potential for violence and in all cases involving threats or use of weapons, the Intervention Team will be expanded to become a Threat Assessment Team (TAT). This Team will include the addition of a College executive member or delegate, and any or all of the following as required: professional experts (e.g. psychologist or counsellor trained in risk assessment, social worker, and medical professional), police, and others as identified by the Intervention Team. In the case of immediate threats of violence or violent acts, the police will be called.
  2. The Threat Assessment Team will work from the assumption that serious violence is an evolutionary process. Escalating patterns of violence and threat levels will be assigned to the Threat Assessment Team. The Team will consider such items as personality of the student, family dynamics, school dynamics and social dynamics.
  3. The Threat Assessment Team should be guided by the questions presented in Threat Assessment in Schools: A Guide to Managing Threatening Situations and to Creating Safe School Climates. The questions are listed in Appendix C.

Effective Student Management

Procedures

I. Prevention

Preventive interventions should be incorporated by faculty and, wherever feasible, by staff or administrators during initial involvement with students. Appropriate student behaviour and the Student Rights and Responsibilities and Discipline Policy should be incorporated into initial class meetings, orientation (First Day)and in-service sessions for students.

The instructor should include standards of appropriate classroom/online behaviour in the course outline or syllabus or as an appendix (referencing college and department guidelines/regulations) to the course outline and discuss them at the first class meeting.

Most disruptive situations will be handled informally between the faculty member, staff or an appropriate administrator and the student. In some cases, the Associate Dean/Dean or an intervener, such as a counsellor, may be invited to participate.

II. Class I Behaviours

Situational behaviors indicative of emotional stress but NOT disruptive to others.

  • Observable behaviour may include: anxiety, anger, inability to concentrate, seeking assurance or support, spaced-out look, appearing to be under the influence of a chemical substance, monopolizes instructor’s time in class or online, depression (see below).
  • Example: Instructor observed student coming to class late (a new behaviour), with red-rimmed eyes, and having an angry conversation with a classmate after class. She failed the last test. She is in class today with a cut and bruise on her face.
  • Depression: Depression can be expressed in many ways. It may be indicated by: sleeping during class, feelings of helplessness and /or hopelessness, weight gain or loss, a change in sleep patterns, feelings of worthlessness, low self-esteem, and lack of energy.
  • Example: A student appears to sleep in the back of the classroom. When awake, he responds to questions first, never raising his hand or allowing others to voice an opinion.

CAUTION:If a student expresses any suicidal statement or makes any suicidal gesture, follow procedures for Class III.

Suggested Action : If the student does not follow the standards of behaviour, or the instructor has cause for concern, the instructor gives feedback to the student through verbal or written comments in a timely manner. The instructor speaks with the student privately and confidentially. He/she registers concern. It is crucial to document all exchanges involving discussions of student behaviour. Guidelines for documentation are found in Appendix A.

  • Referral : The instructor informs the student of available assistance on campus. The instructor documents behaviours, completes Incident Report Form (Appendix B) and forwards to counseling coordinator and program Dean . The Dean will enter incident in STRK.
III. Class II Behaviour

Behaviours causing disruption in or outside of classroom.

Description of Potential Behaviours: Observable behaviour may include: irrational, inappropriate, unrelated or bizarre verbal or written comments, verbal abuse, defiance, anger, inappropriate focusing of attention on self in class, inappropriate physical contact

Example: A student storms into the classroom after instruction has started. He starts to bellow and rage about a parking ticket he has received, interrupting and halting the classroom activity. The instructor states, “Mr. _________, your behaviour at this time is unacceptable. Please stop immediately and take your seat.”

Example: A student has written work which describes the acting out of a behavior which is violent in nature directed at an inanimate object. Another student notices and questions the written material. The author becomes verbally aggressive towards the other student. The instructor states, “Ms ____________, your comments and tone are unwelcome in my class, please stop now.

Suggested Actions:

If appropriate, talk with the student privately and confidentially after class or in a scheduled conference. Express concern. The instructor clearly defines limits for acceptable behaviour in a timely manner. This may be done through verbal or written comments.

Reiterate clearly defined limits for acceptable behaviour. Maintain confidentiality.

Example: A student is lying on the floor of the library, talking to himself. Staff approaches the student and quietly states: “Mr. ________, others cannot concentrate because of the distraction you are creating. Please take your seat now. If there is a problem, I can call someone to speak with you.”

Example (the angry student from the first example): The student continues to rant about the parking ticket, the college, the instructor, ‘the way things are run around here,’ etc. The instructor states, “Mr. _______, you have been asked to take your seat and have not done so. Please leave the classroom immediately.”

It is crucial to document all exchanges involving discussions of student behaviour. Guidelines for documentation are found in Appendix A, “Incident Report Questions to Guide Behaviour Documentation Form.” Maintain confidentiality.

If this situation warrants, the student’s disruptive behaviour will be discussed with the Academic Dean if behavior occurred in the classroom and with the Registrar if behavior occurred outside of the classroom. In the event of a removal from class, the appropriate academic administrator must be notified.

Disciplinary Procedures:

For a serious infringement or, if the student continues the disruptive and/or inappropriate behaviour, the instructor should follow each step in the order listed below:

The instructor notifies the Dean or Registrar filling out the appropriate documentation Incident Report form (Appendix B).

The Dean or Registrar and the instructor meet to review the situation and create an action plan to solve the problem (a counselor may be asked to advise in development of the action plan). Action plans should include a conference (with the Dean, instructor and student), and possibly a behavioural agreement for the student. Copies of the action plan, documentation describing the incident(s), the date for the initial conference and names of those attending, (and behavioural agreement, if used) should be placed on STRK by Dean. The Dean will inform the Registrar and Director of Student Success.

The student is notified of the action plan and a date for an initial conference is set in a timely fashion. A key contact person is established for the follow up conferences.

If indicated, a meeting date within 10 working days with the key contact person and the student to review the student's progress should be scheduled.

If, after the initial conference, the matter is considered sufficiently serious, it may be referred to the Intervention Team and notification to the Vice President of Academics and Student Services

At the first review meeting with the instructor, student and key contact person (after first 10- working day review period), if behaviour is deemed acceptable, no further follow-up is required. Student will be informed that their behaviour will continue to be monitored. Results of the review meeting will be documented forwarded to the Dean and submitted to STRK.

If behavioural improvement is marginal, follow-up in another 10 working days is required; with the understanding this will be the last opportunity to work on behavioural change. Results of the review meeting will be documented. Copies will be forwarded to the Academic Dean and placed on STRK.

At the second review meeting with the instructor, student and key contact person (after second 10-[working] day review period), if behaviour is deemed acceptable no further follow-up is indicated. Results of the review meeting will be documented and submitted to STRK.

If behaviour has not met requirements of the behavioural agreement, the matter is referred to the Intervention Team, Registrar and Academic Dean with copies of all documentation for final action to be taken. The Vice President Academics and Student Success is notified.

If behaviour has not met requirements in behavioural agreement, the matter is referred to the Dean with copies of all documentation for final action to be taken. The Academic Dean will take appropriate measures as per the Colleges Students Rights and Responsibilities policy and will notify the Registrar of appropriate action.

If the matter is forwarded to the academic Dean or Registrar the following will occur:

  • The academic Dean or Registrar meets with the student. The possible outcomes are:
  • The situation is resolved informally. Results of the review meeting will be documented and placed on STRK. Copies will be forwarded to the Registrar and the Academic Dean.
  • The situation warrants further action. The academic Dean or Registrar will write up final action on suspension or referral for expulsion following the appropriate guidelines/policies.
  • If recommended for suspension, the student will be suspended by the academic Dean or Registrar. Results of the review meeting will be documented.
  • If recommended for expulsion, the student will be suspended by Vice-President of Academics and Student Success. Results of the review meeting will be documented

Either decision (above) will result in the following:

  • Where possible, a meeting with the student will take place to inform the student of the sanctions imposed upon him/her.
  • The student will be notified by certified mail
  • All appropriate parties will be notified immediately: instructor, Registrar, Academic Dean, Police Department, counselor, and if appropriate, the Intervention Team.
  • In the event a student returns to campus while suspended or expelled, the Police Department must be notified immediately, followed by the Vice President, Academics and Student Success, academic Dean or Registrar, Director of Plant/Security, the instructor, and the counselor.
IV. Class III Behaviour

Exhibited behaviour violent, threatening and/or is a danger to self and/or others, or has the potential to become a danger.

These behaviours may arise without warning. If the following behaviours results from continuing problems, methods of resolution should be tried as described above in Class I & II Behaviours.

Observable behaviour may include:

  • Student exhibits violent behaviour towards self or others, in person or in writing, threatens to harm or kill self or another, demonstrates exhibitionism, acts out and/or appears to be potentially violent.
  • Example: An employee hears loud noises in the parking lot and looks out his window. He sees a group of students yelling at each other, with one woman holding what appears to be a knife. He contacts the Police department for assistance.
  • Example: The student has just failed the course. She is tearful and states to the instructor: “This cannot happen! My family will never forgive this failure. I am humiliated. Whenever a student expresses suicidal thoughts take them seriously and get help immediately. Do not leave the student alone.
  • Example: A student enters the classroom and takes their seat. Written on a piece of paper left behind is a bomb threat describing date, time and place with cause as why this action is necessary. The student immediately informs the instructor who contacts security.

Actions:

For violent or threatening behaviour:

  • Protect the safety of self and others, if possible. This is accomplished by establishing control of the immediate area:
    • by dismissing the class and dealing with the student individually, if safe to do so
    • by asking bystanders to leave the area
    • by designating tasks (such as phone calls) to witnesses to event
     
  • Immediately call the Facilities/Security at extension 3333. If personnel are unavailable, call 911 (remember to dial 9 first to get an outside line, if calling from an in-house phone). If possible, buy time by talking calmly and with concern; do not antagonize.
  • After resolution of the immediate situation, contact the Academic Dean, who in turn will contact the Registrar, calling to order the Intervention Team.
  • The Academic Dean will submit report to STRK.

For suicidal behaviour:

If the student represents a danger to himself/herself and/or others, provide for safety. This is accomplished by establishing control of the immediate area (if safe to do so) by;

  • dismissing the class and dealing with the student individually
  • asking bystanders to leave the area
  • designating tasks (such as phone calls) to witnesses to event
  • Contacting the Counselling Office at extension 3412 if the student represents a danger to himself/herself and/or others, if counsellors are unavailable call 3333 or 911 (remember to dial 9 first to get an outside line, if calling from an in-house phone). If possible, buy time, by talking calmly and with concern; do not antagonize.
  • Contacting a member of the Intervention Team (extension 3428) to obtain immediate assistance. If the situation warrants, and there is no immediate danger to yourself, the involved student or others you may the counselling office. In the event no member of the Intervention Team is immediately available you may call 911.

Disciplinary Procedures For Violent or Threatening Behaviour:

For violent or threatening behaviours, the matter is forwarded to the Academic Dean or Registrar and the following will occur:

  • The Academic Dean or Registrar may meet with the student (he/she may make a determination of suspension without meeting with the student). The Academic Dean/Registrar will write up final action on suspension or referral for expulsion. Documentation is placed on STRK.
    • If recommended for suspension, the student will be suspended by the Registrar. Results of the review meeting will be documented.
    • If recommended for expulsion, the matter is forwarded to the Vice President of Academics and Student Success.
     
  • Either decision (above) will result in the following:
    • Where possible a meeting with the student will take place to inform the student of the sanctions.
    • The student will be notified by certified mail.
    • All appropriate parties will be notified immediately: instructor(s), academic Dean, Police Department, Director of Plant/Security and counselor.
     
  • In the event of suicidal behaviours, the matter will be forwarded to the counseling coordinator, who will involve the Intervention Team, if appropriate. Each matter will be handled on an individual basis, as the circumstances warrant.
  • In the event a student returns to campus while suspended or expelled, the Police Department must be notified immediately, followed by the Vice President, Academics and Student Success, Registrar, Academic Dean, Director of Student Success, Director of Plant/Security, the instructor, and the counselor.

Student Behaviour Decision Tree

Decision Tree For Effective Student Management

Class I

Student demonstrates inappropriate behaviour but does not disrupt class. Demonstrates anxiety, anger, depression, inability to concentrate, seeks assurance or support

Speak with student privately and confidentially, express concern. Document behaviour

Inform student of assistance on campus through counselling or health nurse. If student comfortable contact counsellor/nurse for referral.

Class II

Disrupts class with inappropriate, unrelated or bizarre comments, defiance or verbal abuse, anger or focusing attention on self

If appropriate – speak with student privately and confidentially. Express concern. Set limits for acceptable behaviour in situation.

If necessary the student may be asked to leave the class for the remainder of the period

Document each incident of inappropriate behaviour.

Discuss situations with Associate Dean/Dean. If the situation warrants.

If disruptive behaviour continues see Level II Procedure for initiation of disciplinary actions.

Disciplinary actions may include oral or written warning, temporary exclusion from class, suspension or expulsion by Dean if warranted

Students will receive written permission from the Dean in order to be readmitted to class as appropriate

Class III

Danger to self or others (violent or threatening behaviour, exhibitionism)

Protect safety of others and self if possible, remove from situation or remove situation from classroom

Call 3333 or 911 immediately

Buy time with student by talking caringly and with concern

Whenever a student expresses suicidal thoughts.

YOU MUST TAKE THEM SERIOUSLY

  • Contact a member of the counseling department or an Intervention team member to obtain immediate assistance
  • Intervention team member calls VP Academic and Student Success for notification of event.
  • Intervention team member contacts TAT team as required

Roles and Responsibilities

  1. Faculty, Staff And Administrators are responsible for:
    1. Being familiar with Intervention prevention and management at Lambton College.
    2. Contacting appropriate Dean or Registrar in the event of an incident depending on level of disruptive behaviour or behaviour indicative of stress or Intervention.
    3. Documenting each incident of disruptive behaviour utilizing the questions from Appendix A and the Incident Report Form (Appendix B) as the reporting guide. Administrators will document on STRK.
    4. Maintaining confidentiality.
     
  2. The Registrar, Academic Dean, Director of Student Success are responsible for:
    1. Intervening and assessing disruptive situation.
    2. Apply Student Rights and Responsibility and Discipline policy where appropriate.
    3. Initiating intervention plan.
    4. Developing and executing action plan with student.
    5. Informing faculty, staff or administrator as to decision made regarding student.
    6. Informing Vice President of Academics and Student Success regarding elevated concerns regarding a student’s behaviour. Conferring with student and giving written authorization for student to return to class.
    7. Notifying the Police Department of situations they must enforce.
     
  3. The Police Department is responsible for:
    1. Intervening in any situation where the safety of an individual is in jeopardy.
    2. Remove an individual who is dangerous to self or others to be transported, without their consent, to a facility for assessment of their mental status.
    3. Initiating arrests when necessary.
     
  4. Intervention Team Members are responsible for:
    1. Providing consultation during any step in the process involving disruptive or stress related behaviour by a student, upon request. Consulting may involve:
    2. discussions to assess disruptive behaviour
    3. clarification of action to be initiated
    4. steps to rectify situation satisfactorily
    5. Direct intervention and mediation with individuals involved in disruptive situations as appropriate.
    6. Providing Intervention counseling and/or referrals to community agencies.
     

Responsibilities and Teams

Registrar

  • Discipline outside classrooms
  • Applies Students Rights, Responsibility and Discipline policy.
  • Distributes official College correspondence to students relating to discipline issues.

Dean

  • Discipline within academic settings.
  • Applies Students Rights, Responsibility and Discipline policy

Intervention Team

  • Address repeat behavioural and psychological issues
  • Providing consultation during any step in the process involving disruptive or stress related behaviour by a student, upon request. Consulting may involve:
  • discussions to assess disruptive behaviour  
  • clarification of action to be initiated
  • steps to rectify situation satisfactorily
  • Direct intervention and mediation with individuals involved in disruptive situations as appropriate.
  • Providing Intervention counseling and/or referrals to community agencies.

Threat Assessment Team

  • threat with a weapon or act of violence
  • discussions to assess violent behaviour
  • investigation of individual actions and determine plan next steps
  • clarification of action to be initiated
  • steps to rectify situation satisfactorily

Direct intervention and mediation with individuals involved in disruptive situations as appropriate.

  • providing Intervention counseling and/or referrals to community agencies
  • Respond to violent occurrences and manage aftermath if required.

The Threat Assessment Team should be guided by the questions presented in Threat Assessment in Schools: A Guide to Managing Threatening Situations and to Creating Safe School Climates. The questions are listed in Appendix C.

Next Steps

Institutional Notification

It should be written in our published documents that Lambton College takes the threat of harm or violence seriously.

Notification of students

Students must be aware of the policy. The website, student handbook, course outlines, student card, sign on screen, etc are all communication medium for distribution of the violence policy.

Staff and faculty training

Staff, faculty and student council must be aware of the policies and guidelines relating to student behaviour. Training to discuss diffusion mechanism and intervention techniques should be an annual session during the May/June professional development period. Proper documentation techniques must be developed. Staff must understand varying levels of behaviour, appropriate response and action.

Administrator training

Administrator need to be trained on the process as well as intervention techniques. Investigative and incident probing techniques are essential for administrator to assess a situation. Proper documentation techniques, utilization of STRK, awareness of the Intervention and TAT teams and their differences are necessary requirements for an administrator to take the appropriate recommendations/course of action.

Development of an Intervention Team

An intervention team needs to be developed with individuals that have the appropriate training to handle behaviour situations. Proper documentation, questions/interviewing techniques, situational diffusion training and situational assessment are all areas required by members of the Intervention Team

Development of the Threat Assessment Team

An extension of the Intervention Team, this team includes police, psychologist, medical practitioner, etc., who meet quarterly to review protocol, training issues, recent violent incident cases and make recommendations for process improvement.

Appendices

Appendix A

Incident Report Question to Guide Written Report

The following are questions to guide one through the reporting of an incident:

  • Name(s) of the individual(s) and his/her relationship to the school.
  • When and where the incident occurred.
  • What happened immediately prior to the incident?
  • The specific language during the incident.
  • Physical conduct that would substantiate reporting of the incident
  • How the individual appeared (physically and emotionally).
  • Names of others who were directly involved and any actions they took.
  • How the incident ended.
  • Names of witnesses.
  • What happened to the individual after the incident?
  • What happened to the other students or employees directly involved after the incident.
  • Names of any administrators, teachers, or staff and how they responded.
  • What event(s) triggered the incident?
  • Any history leading up to the incident.
  • Suggestions/steps to ensure the incident will not happen in the future.

Adapted Suggestions from the "Guide for Preventing and Responding to School Violence". Published by the International Association of Chiefs of Police.

Appendix B

Incident Report form (PDF)

Appendix C

Questions to direct the deliberations of the Threat Assessment Team

The following questions are courtesy of the excellent work done by Robert Fein, Bryan Vossekuil, William Pollack, Randy Borum, Bill Moadzeleski, and Marissa Reddy who developed Threat Assessment in Schools: A Guide to Managing Threatening Situations and to Creating Safe School Climates. U.S. Department of Education, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, Safe and Drug-Free Schools program and U.S. Secret Service, national Threat Assessment Center, Washington, D.C., 2002.

What are the student's motive(s) and goals?

  • What motivated the student to make the statements or take the actions that caused him or her to come to attention?
  • Does the situation or circumstance that led to these statements or actions still exist?
  • Does the student have a major grievance or grudge? Against whom?
  • What efforts have been made to resolve the problem and what has been the result? Does the potential attacker feel any part of the problem is resolved or see any alternatives?

Have there been any communications suggesting ideas or intent to attack?

  • What, if anything, has the student communicated to someone else (targets, friends, other students, teachers, family, others) or written in a diary, journal or Web site concerning his/her ideas and/or intentions?
  • Have friends been alerted or "warned away"?

Has the student shown inappropriate interest in any of the following?

  • School attacks or attackers;
  • Weapons (including recent acquisition of any relevant weapon);
  • Incidents of mass violence (terrorism, workplace violence, mass murderers).

Has the student engaged in attack-related behaviours? These behaviours might include:

  • Developing an attack idea or plan;
  • Making efforts to acquire or practice with a weapons;
  • Casing, or checking out, possible sites and areas for attack;
  • Rehearsing attacks or ambushes.

Does the student have the capacity to carry out an act of targeted violence?

  • How organized is the student's thinking and behaviour?
  • Does the student have the means, e.g., access to a weapon to carry out an attack?

Is the student experiencing hopelessness, desperation and/or despair?

  • Is the student known to be having difficulty coping with a stressful event? Is there information to suggest that the student is experiencing desperation and/or despair?
  • Has the student experienced a recent failure, loss and/or loss of status?

Is the student now, or has the student ever been, suicidal or "accident prone"?

  • Has the student engaged in a sake behaviour that suggests that he or she has considered ending his/her life?

Does the student have a trusting relationship with at least one responsible adult?

  • Does the student have at least one relationship with an adult where the student feels that he or she can confide in the adult and believes that the adult will listen without judging or jumping to conclusions? (Students with trusting relationships with adults may be directed away from violence and despair and towards hope)
  • Is the student emotionally connected to-or disconnected from-other students?
  • Has the student previously come to someone’s attention or raised concern in a way that suggested he or she needs intervention or support services?

Does the student see violence as acceptable or desirable or the only way to solve problems?

  • Does the setting around the student (friends, fellow students, parents, teachers, adults) explicitly or implicitly support or endorse violence as a way of resolving problems or disputes?
  • Has the student been "dared" by others to engage in an act of violence?

Is the student's conversation and consistent with his or her actions?

Does information from collateral interviews and from the student's own behaviour confirm or dispute what the student says is going on?

Are other people concerned about the student's potential for violence?

  • Are those who know the student concerned that he or she might take action based on violent ideas or plans?
  • Are those who know the student concerned about a specific target?
  • Have those who know the student witnessed recent changes or escalations in mood and behaviour?

What circumstances might affect the likelihood of an attack?

  • What factors in the student's life and/or environment might increase or decrease the likelihood that the student will attempt to mount an attack at school?

What is the response of other persons who know about the student's ideas or plan to mount an attack? (Do those who know the student's ideas actively discourage the student from acting violently, encourage the student to attack, deny the possibility of violence, passively collude with an attack, etc.?)


For questions or concerns regarding policies, please contact:

Jim Elliott
Director, Quality Assurance & Institutional Research
519-542-7751 x 3489
jim.elliott@lambtoncollege.ca

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