It was all about understanding youth and gangs at Fort St. James Secondary School on Dec. 6.
The event was organized by Sgt. Poppy Hallam from the RCMP in Fort St. James and Jhenipher Bridgeman, at risk youth worker from the high school.
The aim was to raise awareness about gang violence.
Cpl. Angela Kermer, with Aboriginal Policing Services with the RCMP hosted the event.
“This is all about sharing our opinions and values with each other. It’s all about keeping our kids safe,” Kermer said.
“This can exist even in small towns like Fort St. James and this is something that can touch us in so many different ways.”
Videos showing the effects of gang violence on members of gangs and their families were presented to a group of students, teachers, parents and other community members which prompted much discussion.
“We’ve had a great discussion. We have to try to keep people out of gangs. It must be remembered that if there’s drugs, there’s gangs,” Kermer said.
The event was complete with a tasty lasagna dinner prepared by students from the Nak’azdli Youth Council.
Gang Prevention: What Can Parents Do?
– Always know where your kids are, what they are doing and who they are with. Explain to them that you are asking questions about their activities and whereabouts because you are interested, you love them and you care about them.
– Help your kids choose friends who are not involved in any criminal or antisocial activity.
– Build strong family ties by making family events fun such as regular family dinners, outings, watching movies and playing games with them.
– Accompany your kids to after school activities such as sports and stay for the whole duration as often as possible.
– Participate in parent-teacher meetings and events at your child’s school.
– Take interest in your kids’ homework and make sure they complete it.
– Encourage your kids to participate in school activities and do volunteer work in the community. Do the same yourself.
– Ensure that they take pride in their cultural/ethnic/religious/linguistic heritage while fully participating in the mainstream life of our society.
– Have open communication with your kids.
– Remember that kids learn a lot from observation so be a good model yourself.
– Emphasize the importance of “being true to self” and reward them for doing the “right thing” despite peer pressure.
– When you are worried about your kid’s well-being and need some help, talk to their school teacher, counsellor or even police officer. An earlier check and prevention will help your kids stay on track and avoid getting into dangerous life of crime, violence and gangs.
For more information, visit: www.gangprevention.ca