In a week where a local student was robbed on their way to school, the BC Government is looking at increasing safety in school across the Province.
A new collaborative and comprehensive resource for use by schools and police is intended to ensure consistent practices are followed provincewide and will help to proactively identify risk, guide interventions and provide supports for students when they need them most.
"Student safety is our number one priority, and by working together with our education, law enforcement, and community partners, we are taking important action today to support young people earlier before they are tempted to go down a pathway of crime and violence," said Rob Fleming, Minister of Education. "Our government continues to be the only province in Canada with a comprehensive provincial strategy for addressing and responding to harmful and threatening behaviour. We want all B.C. students to learn in a safe environment free from discrimination, bullying, harassment, intimidation, and violence."
The new guidelines build on the expanded provincial Erase (expect respect and a safe education) strategy, designed to foster school connectedness, address bullying, prevent violence and provide support to school districts during serious incidents. As part of Erase, designated safe school coordinators have been established in every B.C. school district and independent school to prevent and respond to student safety issues, including gang involvement, possession of firearms and acts of violence. Many of these coordinators are part of multi-disciplinary safe school teams that include police partners.
In addition to strengthening school-police partnerships, the provincial school-police guidelines will help promote shared safety procedures, increase information sharing and support the development of local community violence threat risk assessment (VTRA) protocols - a multilevel process of assessing the risk of a threat of violence in a school environment or elsewhere.
On Twitter: @Q101Merritt