Parents of students and future students from Alexander Elementary School and Cowichan Secondary School have been invited to attend a community dialogue and information night on June 19 regarding community safety issues. (File photo)

Parents of students and future students from Alexander Elementary School and Cowichan Secondary School have been invited to attend a community dialogue and information night on June 19 regarding community safety issues. (File photo)

Parents gather to discuss safety issues

Meeting to be held at Duncan United Church on June 19

Ensuring student safety is the topic of a meeting that will be held in Duncan on June 19.

Parents of students and future students from Alexander Elementary School and Cowichan Secondary School have been invited to attend the community dialogue and information night at Duncan United Church.

The parents, who have already been contacted by School District 79 by email, will have the opportunity to meet with a number of key community organizations that are working together to address safety issues in the Beverly Alexander neighbourhood.

Michelle Staples, a spokeswoman for Social Planning Cowichan, one of the groups attending the meeting, said the information night is the first of several being planned, with the rest to be scheduled for this fall, in response to the ongoing concerns regarding the street activity and related issues that continue to occur in the Beverly Alexander neighbourhood.

She said Monday’s meeting, which begins at 7 p.m., is meant to bring parents together to provide opportunities to speak directly with organizations that are working and providing services in this neighbourhood, to ensure that parents have accurate information and an opportunity to share their concerns and ask questions.

These organizations include School District 79, the local RCMP detachment, Warmland House, OUR Cowichan Health Network, Canadian Mental Health-Cowichan Branch Youth Outreach, Island Health Discovery Youth and Family Services and Stigma, a local community response group.

The session will wrap up with responses from all three levels of government and the school district.

“Registration for Monday’s session is mandatory and can’t accommodate walk in’s due to capacity,” Staples said.

“A wait list will be automatically generated and people on that list will be sent information for other upcoming opportunities.”

Cowichan Valley Green MLA Sonia Furstenau said she plans to attend the meeting, the latest in the Valley dealing with community safety issues that have been held over the last week.

She said she attended a meeting on June 15 with municipal representatives and the local RCMP to discuss community safety issues that came on the heels of a gathering of concerned citizens looking for solutions on the issue that met on June 12.

“It’s clear everyone shares the same concerns and desires to see solutions, and there are a lot of groups that are working around safety and homelessness issues in the Valley,” Furstenau said.

“It’s important that we recognize the tremendous amount of effort these groups have put into finding solutions already. Monday’s meeting is also a great opportunity for the wider community to connect and find solutions.”