JFCK-R: Violence Prevention
Students, parents or guardians, and employees should be advised that the Board of School Trustees (the “Board”) shall not tolerate violence of any kind in the premises, on its property, or during any school-sanctioned activity.
When a school administrator has reasonable and probable grounds to believe that a student or group of students has:
- committed an act of violence as defined above,
- solicited a third party to commit an act of violence, or
- possessed or has brought onto school board property materials or weapons to be potentially used in an act of violence
the school administrator shall carry out the following procedures:
- forthwith inform the parents or guardians of the student, where possible in person or by telephone and, thereafter, notify the parents or guardians in writing, either by hand-delivered letter or double-registered letter;
- in addition, arrange, when practicable, for a formal interview with the parents or guardians and the student at the school to discuss the circumstances of the incident and provide the parent or guardian with a copy of this policy;
- if appropriate, suspend the student for a short term, pending the two prior steps.
When the act of violence warrants, the school administrator may call the Vancouver Police Department for assistance (when an incident includes the use of a weapon, as defined in Board policy JFCJ, a report to the Vancouver Police Department is mandatory). The consequences for an act of violence will depend on the severity and nature of the incident and will take into consideration the students' age, discipline record, and other pertinent factors.
Following these steps, the school administrator may, in his/her discretion, consider some other form of corrective or disciplinary action appropriate to the incident.
When a student has been suspended, the school administrator, after considering the individual circumstances, may arrange for the transfer of the student to another school within the district or, if the student resides outside the Vancouver school district, to the district in which the student resides. The school administrator will ensure that the appropriate documentation follows the student in the transfer process.
The school administrator may also consider the appropriateness of an alternative educational placement including home instruction, correspondence courses, alternative educational programs of the Board, and alternative educational programs in other jurisdictions, or follow the Board's procedures for medical exclusion as per the School Act, Sec. 91, through the Vancouver medical health officer.
Regardless of the disciplinary action taken, the school administrator will consider, where appropriate, utilizing the resources and services of the urgent intervention process outlined in the Vancouver School Board-Vancouver Teachers' Federation Collective Agreement to maintain a safe school environment. He/she may recommend, with the concurrence of the Associate Superintendent - Area and the Student Discipline Review Committee, a suspension or exclusion of more than five days.
Under Board policy JGD/JGE-R, Student Suspension/Exclusion, the school administrator may suspend a student for up to five days or less by written notice to the parent or guardian and the Associate Superintendent - Area.
Regardless of the disciplinary action taken, the school administrator shall, after discussion with the parent or guardian, consider the advisability of referring the student to a program for anger management, conflict resolution, or other appropriate counselling. The parent or guardian must be informed of the right of appeal of any disciplinary action.
When the Board receives a recommendation from the Student Discipline Review Committee to suspend a student for more than five days, in accordance with the School Act, Sec. 85, it shall notify the parents/guardians of the time and place the suspensions will be considered and of their right to attend the meeting where the recommendation will be considered and to speak to the Board before any decision is taken.
When the school administrator has knowledge of a student's history of violence, either through police, Ministry of the Attorney-General probation services, or other school or school district, which may cause concern for the welfare of students and staffs, he/she shall inform the appropriate staff of the student's history as per the Workers' Compensation Board Violence in the Workplace regulations and notify the Associate Superintendent - Area; further, in the case of a student new to the school, he/she may defer enrolment and refer the student to the Associate Superintendent - Area for educational placement.
When an incident of violence affects a student of the Board, the school administrator, when appropriate, shall inform the parent or guardian of the affected student(s) and ensure the student(s) receives appropriate counselling.
When an incident of violence involves an employee of the Board, the supervisor/school administrator shall inform the responsible senior official of the incident details and comply with the relevant collective agreement and the Board's employee discipline procedures. He/she will follow the Workers' Compensation Board policy regarding Violence in the Workplace and ensure that a Violent Incident Report form is filed, and that, if required, an employee receives immediate counselling and support.
When appropriate, the administrative or supervisory officer shall report the incident to the Vancouver Police Department.
DMT Responsibility: AS-LS