Parents who want to learn about B.C.’s gang landscape, how gangs recruit members and what attracts kids to the gang lifestyle are invited to an information session in Burnaby next week.
Safety experts will be at Burnaby Central Secondary (6011 Deer Lake Pkwy.) on Thursday (May 16) at 6:30 p.m. as part of a new provincial school-based gang-prevention program.
The free two-hour session will be led by Safer Schools Together (a company contracted by the province to deliver such sessions) and the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit in partnership with the school district and Burnaby RCMP.
Participants will hear from Keiron McConnell, a Safer Schools Together expert on gang prevention, intervention and suppression, and from former gang member Jordan Buna.
The presentation is part of a bigger $1.12 million school-based gang prevention initiative announced by the province March and connected to the province’s ERASE (Expect Respect and a Safe Education) strategy.
After being identified by police and safety experts, Burnaby is one of 12 priority communities getting training and “intensive supports” for students, parents, educators, police and local partners through the initiative.
At Thursday’s session, parents will also learn about warning signs and how to help someone who is being recruited or already involved with gangs.
“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,” Safer Schools Together president Theresa Campbell said in a press release. “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.”
No registration is required for the event.