(Grace Kennedy photo)

Delta School District receiving anti-gang funding

The province is giving a total of $1.12 million to 12 school districts across B.C.

Provincial funding is on the way to keep youth out of gangs, though it’s still unclear how much the Delta School District will be getting.

Delta is one of 12 district set to receive a portion of the $1.12 million in gang-prevention money that was announced March 12 by Education Minister Rob Fleming and Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth. The money will fund the new ERASE (Expect Respect and a Safe Education) school-based program.

Joanna Angelidis, director of learning services for the Delta School District, told the Reporter there is no crisis in terms of local teens being recruited by gangs, but it is something the district, police and the community ought to keep an eye on.

Angelidis said it is necessary to take steps now to prevent youth from joining gangs, as well as “timely, targeted intervention” for those who are veering towards a path of violence. However, she’s still waiting to hear how much money Delta will get for the initiative.

“What we’re doing at this point is, we’re working closely with ERASE and capitalizing on the expertise there on gang prevention,” Angelidis said.

“We’re looking at things such as staff training around gang prevention and reducing gang violence, as well as looking at what are the current structures that we have in place and how do we build upon those.”

The program, which Angelidis said will be district-wide, will first undertake broad staff training that includes what causes young people get involved with gangs, how to prevent that from happening and what structures need to be in place to help those already involved, such as after-school programs.

“There are also after-school programs that emphasize connection for young people,” she said. “So we have Yo Bro/Yo Girl Youth Initiative as one of the programs that we’re looking at expanding, and there’s an elementary school component, as well as a youth outreach component.”

According to the ministry release, ERASE will also cover an overview of B.C.’s gang landscape, the ways of recruiting, myths and realities about membership, and how to recognize if someone is being recruited or is already involved in gang activity.

The B.C. School Superintendents Association will receive the funding and work with school districts to establish partnerships with the Boys Club Network, an non-profit organization whose goal it is to create safe spaces for boys aged 12 to 19.

“Early intervention and prevention programs like ERASE 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,” Farnworth said in the release.

READ MORE: 12 B.C. school districts get total of $1.12 million in gang-prevention funds



sasha.lakic@northdeltareporter.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Delta police campaign shines a light relationship violence

Campaign comes after a Delta man was charged with assault with a weapon and uttering threats

Surrey 37 per cent behind in housing supply projections

Of 18 cities in Metro Vancouver, only City of North Vancouver and Richmond met or exceeded projections

Winning Christmas card art shown at Surrey gallery

Arts Council of Surrey’s annual competition won by Edwin Stephen and Nancy Painter

$192K provincial grant to support Sources Food Hub in Surrey

Money to promote food security through start of a culinary training program

Oppal says Surrey mayor wrong about policing transition timeline

Chairman of committee overseeing Surrey’s transition from RCMP to city police says work won’t be done by Dec. 11

VIDEO: Boys help rescue Cariboo bear cub

The cub, weighing just 24lbs, has been taken to wildlife sanctuary in Northwest B.C. for the winter

Owners of hotels on Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside fight $1 expropriation in court

Vancouver City Council voted to expropriate the properties for $1 each in November

‘Things haven’t changed enough:’ Ecole Polytechnique anniversary prompts reflection

Fourteen women were fatally shot by a gunman at the Montreal school on Dec. 6, 1989

Bear raids freezer, gorges on Island family’s Christmas baking

Hungry bruin virtually ignored meat and fish, focused, instead, on the sweets

B.C. pharmaceutical company’s stocks double in value after successful lupus drug trial

More than 40 per cent of patients using voclosporin saw improvements in kidney function

Second warning on romaine lettuce from California region as another E. coli case reported

Two cases of E. coli have been reported in relation to the illness in the U.S.

Braille signs coming to TransLink bus stops in 2020

Transit authority says it’s the first to do so in Canada and the United States

CUPE issues 72-hour strike notice for SkyTrain

Local 7000 release states ‘parties are still bargaining’, union will have job action plan by Saturday

Abbotsford man was ‘unintended victim’ of 2018 fatal shooting, police say

Jagvir Malhi, 19, was gunned down while on his way to university

Most Read