Public input sought on protocols for investigating school incidents

August 18, 2016   ·   0 Comments

Several local school boards, in partnership with local police and OPP, are seeking public input on the protocol for conducting investigations into incidents within the schools.

In a press release sent out by the Upper Grand District School Board (UGDSB) on Monday, the groups said they are working together on protocols outlining the working relationship and appropriate responses to occurrences within the school, which would require either police investigation or a response by schools and boards.

“Police play a crucial role in supporting the efforts of boards and school communities to ensure schools are safe places for children to learn and staff to work,” explained Heather Loney, the board’s Communications and Community Engagement Officer. “Police and school boards are also partners in preventing crime and violence.”

The current draft is an update of an already existing protocol, last revised in December 2011. Last September, the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services released a revised Provincial Model, which applied to local police/school boards, and prompted them to review and revise their current protocols.

“The protocol outlines the working relationship and appropriate responses to occurrences requiring police investigation or response to schools and boards,” said Ms. Loney. “It encourages a positive and collaborative relationship between police, school staff, students, parents, and members of the community.”

The document subject to public input and review, “Police-School Board Protocol for the Investigation of School-Related Occurrences,” outlines a protocol between the existing partners in this endeavor. These partners include: Guelph/Orangeville/Shelburne Police Services, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), UGDSB, Wellington Catholic District School Board, Conseil Scolaire Viamonde, and Conseil Scolaire de District Catholique Centre-Sud.

“This establishes guidelines for the various relationships between police and members of the public and of the school community,” added Ms. Loney. “It’s just one way we are working together to create safe and accepting schools.”

The protocol was revised under Ministry guidance to strengthen language on threat management and awareness services, as well as to include new bomb threat procedures and incorporate changes to procedures for lockdowns and training provisions.

The new protocol would also increase the prominence of a section regarding violence prevention.

“The police, boards, school staff, parents, community members  – we’re all partners in education,” said Ms. Loney. “It’s important that we are working together to ensure safe and healthy school environments for children.

Members of the community have valuable ideas and input that we will gather during the consultation period and review prior to releasing the final revised document.”

Those interested in reviewing the draft protocol are invited to do so and submit their feedback online by Sept. 30. To access the draft protocol and provide feedback, visit .

Hard copies of the protocol, as well as French language versions, are available upon request.

“Having clear and defined roles and responsibilities is critical to an effective school-police partnership,” concluded Ms. Loney. “This protocol is one part of a comprehensive strategy for maintaining safe school environments.”

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