Salt with Pepper: Community Student Threat-Assessment Training? They’re not kidding.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON September 10, 2011 – I guess it’s something we have to do – but these are our children and that we have to train people to see what we as parents sometimes do not see – a very disturbed child that chooses to act out and harm members of the community.

A media release from the Halton Regional Police Service explained that ” in conjunction with the Halton District School Board, Halton Catholic District School Board, Conseil scolaire Viamonde, Conseil Scolaire de district catholique Centre-Sud and the Provincial Schools Branch (Milton), continues to provide its staff and community partners with exceptional training in the field of student threat assessment.”

People are being taught to assess and interview students they suspect could be a threat to the community. Given the tragedies that have taken place in schools in the past, and we are not talking about just the United States, it has happened in Canada as well, prudent policing would call for this type of training.

The media release went on to say: “Professionals in the school and community system participated in Level 1 Threat Assessment Training this past June. This month Principals, Police, Social Workers and Community partners will gather for additional in-service Threat Assessment Training referred to as “Clinical Interviewing in Threat Assessment.”

“The intensive two-day training session on September 13th and 14th funded by the Ministry of Community Safety and Correction Services focuses on strategic interviewing of key individuals including the threat maker(s), target, collaterals and parents/caregivers as part of the threat assessment process. A more comprehensive look at types of high-risk youth is presented to the participants.”

And so we have Correctional Service people teaching school board staff how to identify, evaluate and asses our children? Looks that way.

Family life is not what it used to be. Separations, divorces, unemployed parents – all this bring stress into a household and children react to that stress. One of the way they react is to act out against the community they don’t understand and have difficulty living within. We are doing something wrong as a society.

The press release went on to say that: “The Canadian Centre for Threat Assessment & Trauma Response, led by Mr. J. Kevin Cameron assists schools and other professionals in understanding the impact of trauma on systems and how to respond in ways that allow schools and communities to deal with serious situations in ways that encourage healing and foster growth rather than divisiveness.”

J. Kevin Cameron we are told, led the crisis response team following the 1999 school shooting in Taber, Alberta and was subsequently seconded by the Alberta Government to the Taber Response Project. He spent 13 months consulting with U.S. sites that experienced school shootings as part of his study of traumatic aftermath including threat related behaviour. Mr. Cameron is an official with the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress and a Board Certified Expert in Traumatic Stress. In concert with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Behavioural Sciences Unit he developed Canada’s first comprehensive, multi-disciplinary threat-assessment training program.

The in-service training will be held September 13th and 14th at Gary Allan High School 2350 New Street, Burlington. For more information, please contact: Inspector J Gordon at 905 825 4749.

Someone somewhere has decided we need this kind of training. I think the money would be better spent on more phys-ed teachers and an upgrade to the library.





Return to the Front page
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Comments are closed.