Local MLA Routledge encourages Burnaby parents to attend upcoming session.
BURNABY – New Democrat MLA Janet Routledge is encouraging parents in Burnaby to attend an upcoming two-hour training session as part of a new provincial school-based gang prevention program.
“We want to empower Burnaby parents who are concerned that their children might be at risk or are already on the pathway to gun and gang violence to be able to take immediate action to divert them from this dangerous path,” said the MLA for Burnaby North. “These sessions, being presented by provincial school safety experts, will do just that, and have been designed to educate parents about what they can do now to help keep their children safe.”
Routledge said Burnaby is one of 12 B.C. communities receiving training opportunities and a variety of intensive supports targeting students, parents, educators, law enforcement, and local partners through the $1.12 million B.C. Government program, launched March 12 as part of the Ministry of Education’s ERASE (Expect Respect and a Safe Education) strategy.
The upcoming parent education session in Burnaby will be offered Thursday, May 16 at 6:30 p.m. at Burnaby Central Secondary, located at 6011 Deer Lake Parkway. 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 are recruiting; and,
- what attracts children and youth to the gang lifestyle.
Presenters will also discuss what gang membership entails and dispel some of the myths and realities of gang membership, as well as offer warning signs and steps to take if you think your child has gotten involved in gang activity.
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.”
Gary Wong, chair of the Burnaby Board of Education
“This is a fantastic opportunity for people to hear directly from those who work to counter gang activity. Schools are the heart of the community, so we’re well placed to share information with families and children. As a district, we welcome this enhancement to the work that we’re already doing with partners to support students with the knowledge and skills they need to make safe choices.”
- The new ERASE school-based gang prevention program is funded through $1.12 million announced in July 2018 by Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General.
- Minister of Education Rob Fleming announced in March 2019 that Burnaby is one of 12 priority communities identified by police and safety experts as those that could benefit from additional gang prevention support. Other communities include Abbotsford, Delta, Kamloops, Kelowna, Langley, 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 will also focus on gang prevention, mental health and wellness, substance use, social media, and sexual orientation and gender identity.
- The Burnaby session is being provided by Safer Schools Together, the Ministry of Education’s service-delivery partner for ERASE.