Langley workshop aims to help parents gain greater understanding of gang life

By May 17, 2019News

A two-hour education session is being offered in Langley as part of a new school-based gang prevention program to provide parents with practical knowledge on how to help prevent their children from getting involved in youth gangs.

“This session will provide critical information to parents to help support their children to make the right decisions and fight the temptation to join gangs,” said Rob Fleming, Minister of Education. “By working together with parents and our dedicated education and community partners, we want to ensure students stay in school and away from violence.”

The parent education session is scheduled for Tuesday, May 28th at 7 p.m., at R.E. Mountain Secondary, 7755 202A St. No registration is required.

Parents will leave with a greater understanding of what they can do to prevent their child from getting involved in gang activity. Topics will include an overview of the current B.C. gang landscape, information on how gang members recruit and what attracts children and youth to the gang lifestyle. Presenters will discuss what gang membership entails and dispel some of the myths with realities. They will offer warning signs and steps parents can take if they think their child is involved in gang activity.

“Ending the gun and gang violence that’s taking young lives and threatening communities across B.C. will continue to require strong, strategic prevention and enforcement efforts,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. “Early intervention and prevention programs like ERASE (expect respect and a safe education) are vital to ensuring our young people are both knowledgeable and resilient to the lure of gangs and gang violence, helping them make their own positive life choices. Our government will continue to pull out all the stops to identify bold, new actions that can support local police, our justice system, our schools and communities in curbing gang and gun violence, and saving young lives.”

Quotes:

Theresa Campbell, president, Safer Schools Together —

“Education is a powerful tool that can help parents be able to identify early warning signs that their children are getting on the pathway to gang activity. These sessions will provide parents with practical and beneficial training that will support them to know what to do if faced with this circumstance that’s unfortunately affecting too many youth and their families in B.C. today.”

Megan Dykeman, board chair, Langley School District 

“The Langley School District is pleased to partner with the province on this initiative and believes this will help keep our students, staff and community safe. We support the work of ERASE and Safer Schools Together and feel this info session will provide families with the education needed to help mitigate and prevent gang involvement. This initiative is in line with our commitment to inspiring all learners to reach their full potential and creating a positive legacy for the future.”

Quick Facts:

  • The new ERASE school-based gang prevention program is funded through $1.12 million announced in July 2018.
  • In March 2019, Langley became one of 12 priority communities identified by police and safety experts as those that could benefit from additional gang prevention support. The other communities are Abbotsford, Burnaby, Delta, Kamloops, Kelowna, Nanaimo, Prince George, Surrey, Vancouver, Victoria and Williams Lake.
  • The provincial ERASE strategy offers services and resources to foster school connectedness, address bullying and prevent violence in B.C. schools, and provides support to school districts during critical incidents.
  • During the 2018-19 school year, ERASE was expanded to be a more comprehensive resource and focuses on gang prevention, mental health and wellness, substance use, social media and sexual orientation and gender identity.
  • The Langley session will be provided by Safer Schools Together, the Ministry of Education’s service-delivery partner for ERASE.

Learn More:

Langley School District parent gang information session: https://www.sd35.bc.ca/news-events/district-board-news/view/keeping-our-children-safe-from-gangs-info-night/

B.C. government news release, March 12, 2019, Helping B.C. students fight lure of gangs with new ERASE strategy:
https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2019EDUC0021-000362