Last Thursday and Friday I attended and spoke at the Canadian Association of University Business Officers workshop on Emergency Preparedness. Perhaps it was the inspirational kickoff by M. Richard Fillion of Dawson College, but it felt like a very special event and it was a pleasure to collaborate with a group of experienced administrators who are obviously committed to tackling a tough challenge.
I spoke on the legal perspective on managing on-campus violence, with a focus on the need for information sharing. Dr. Philip Klassen of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health’s Law and Mental Health Program and Dr. Phil Wood, Dean of Students McMaster University, gave great presentations on the same subject from their own perspectives. Dr. Wood has also blogged about the event here.
Here is the full text of my speech, entitled “A Legal Perspective On Managing the Threat of On-Campus Violence.” I’ve linked to the various references that came up in the speech and the following Q&A below. I hope these are of use to the attendees and others.
- The Virginia Tech Review Panel Report. I particularly recommend Chapter 4.
- United States Secret Service and United States Department of Education, Implications for the Prevention of School Attacks in the United States. This stresses the efficacy and importance of threat assessment systems.
- Robert Bickel and Peter Lake, The Rights and Responsibilities of the Modern University. An important book on universities’ duty of care.
- IPC/Ontario, Privacy and Video Surveillance in Mass Transit Systems: A Special Investigation Report. This has a significant statement on special constables and the meaning of “law enforcement” in FIPPA.
- United States Department of Education, Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (Proposed Amendments).
- Re Hamilton Health Sciences and Ontario Nurses Association, 91 C.L.A.S. 228 (Surdykowski). This recent case is about the collection of medical information through standardized forms for the purposes of short-term disability benefit administration. The collection of medical information for individual risk assessment and accommodation purposes is a different matter, but there are ideas in here that are significant and restrictive. I raised it in questioning whether employers should consider bargaining for some clarity on their right to collect. My earlier blog post on this case is here and I have blogged on medical information management here.
- Young v. Bella, 2006 SCC 3. This case illustrates the potential liability that can be mitigated by formal threat assessment systems.
There was a really good comment after the speech from Mike from Queen’s University, who thought the my use of the term “care team” was inappropriate given the role the university is really playing and the sensitivity about taking on an overt caregiver role. I completely agree, and from now on will work the term “assessment team” or “CUBIT” – for Comprehensive Behavioral and Threat Assessment Team – into my language. Thanks!