As you are most likely aware, the community of La Loche, Saskatchewan experienced a serious act of violence in a school setting that has rocked the community and our entire nation. As we reflect on Friday’s events, our hearts go out to the family and friends of the victims and injured.
We are deeply saddened by the tragic event that took place on Friday. Violent events like this remind us of the importance of our collective efforts to keep students and staff safe. Through the BC Ministry of Education’s ERASE strategy, and in particular our Violence Threat Risk Assessment (VTRA) training, we have been working to equip district and school personnel with the skills and protocols to identify threat making and worrisome behaviours, in order to help prevent school violence.
We also work closely with our community partners, especially with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and their School Action for Emergencies Plan (SAFE), to ensure we are prepared and understand how best to respond to any type of emergency. Drills and practices are part of our training process. We have a district-wide lockdown day scheduled on Thursday, February 25 and a mock incident drill on Tuesday, March 8, 2016.
The next few weeks will be a critical period for schools, including North Vancouver. Drawing upon materials provided through the Safe Schools Division of the BC Ministry of Education, we will be providing guidance to our school district employees to support our students, staff and community during this time.
We appreciate your support and understanding as we continue our work to help ensure safe schools throughout the North Vancouver School District.
Superintendent of Schools
North Vancouver School District