Wanda Christensen, (retiring) associate superintendent of Chinook’s Edge School Division. (Contributed photo).

Central Alberta schools, police and agencies work together to prevent violence

Proactive protocol to be signed on Monday

Before every school shooting, the perpetrator revealed alarming behaviour that, if reported, might have prevented the tragedy.

Flagging this behaviour before it escalates is the goal of a new “protocol” to be signed Monday by three Central Alberta school divisions, police and social agencies.

Kevin Cameron, executive director of the Canadian Centre for Threat Assessment and Trauma Response, will also attend the signing in Innisfail, along with officials from Chinook’s Edge, Red Deer Catholic and Red Deer Public School divisions.

Cameron has studied school shootings, since Columbine, as well as the Taber shooting in Alberta. The expert in school-related violence has been guiding Central Alberta schools.

“What they found after Columbine is that we want to share information (about threatening statements or actions) and start talking about it,” said Wanda Christensen, a retiring association superintendent for Chinook’s Edge School Division who helped facilitate the partnerships.

Being proactive increases the chance of mitigating a possible tragedy, she added – especially if teachers, counsellors and administrators at neighbouring school divisions discuss what they know with each other, police and relevant agencies.

You never know who might have heard something, since knowledge travels fast and far by social media, Christensen noted.

Although school violence has occasionally been perpetrated by adult outsiders, she said it’s usually carried out by “distressed” students who are attending, or have left a school.

The Community Violence Threat Risk Assessment protocol will also be endorsed by other community partners: the RCMP, Olds College, the Town of Olds, and Mountain View County.

Also part of the agreement are: Alberta Children’s Services, Alberta Health Services, Child/Youth and Family Addictions and Mental Health, Central Alberta Community Corrections, and the Chinook Arch Victim Services.

Christensen said they will all be the eyes and ears of the community. Once threatening behaviour is spotted, it will be jointly assessed and appropriate interventions taken. If it’s a mental health issue, the person will be given the help he, or she, needs, she added.

Similar protocols are being signed by school divisions and other partners across the country. For more information, please visit www.cctatr.com.



lmichelin@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Chinook's Edge School Division

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

230 new COVID-19 cases reported over the weekend

Premier raises concerns about weekend crowding at Sylvan Lake

Wage subsidy will be extended until December amid post-COVID reopening: Trudeau

Trudeau said the extension will ‘give greater certainty and support to businesses’

As postponed NHL season resumes, some fans say the lure of parties will be strong

EDMONTON — As hockey fans gear up for a truncated season to… Continue reading

Five things to watch for in the Canadian business world in the coming week

TORONTO — Five things to watch for in the Canadian business world… Continue reading

QUIZ: Are you ready for a summer road trip?

How much do you really know about roads, motor vehicles and car culture? Take this quiz to find out.

Canadian professional chuckwagon racer reflects on cancelled season

This year would have marked Troy Dorchester’s 28th year of racing.

Crowds in Sylvan Lake “commonplace” during summer months

The Town of Sylvan Lake looking for solutions from Province for large crowds not social distancing

David Marsden: The remaking of Westerner Park

Red Deer residents have been tested by the COVID-19 pandemic in innumerable… Continue reading

Opinion: Anxiety is on the rise as COVID-19 support dries up

The interview with Navdeep Bains kicked off with pandemic pleasantries about how… Continue reading

Garage sale

Our Lady of Peace Parish will hold a multi-family garage sale fundraiser… Continue reading

Washington NFL team dropping ‘Redskins’ name after 87 years

WASHINGTON — The Washington NFL franchise announced Monday that it will drop… Continue reading

Canadian forward Evelyne Viens savours NWSL debut at Challenge Cup

A prolific goal-scorer in college, Canadian forward Evelyne Viens has kicked off… Continue reading

In libel case, Depp says Heard hit him with ‘haymaker’ punch

LONDON — Johnny Depp accused Amber Heard of hitting him with a… Continue reading

Most Read