WCPS addresses domestic violence

Submitted

Wolf Creek Public Schools (WCPS) trustees recently hosted their fourth Municipal Networking Evening.

More than 30 people attended the event, including Ray Prins, MLA for Lacombe-Ponoka, elected officials and senior management staff from the municipalities within the jurisdiction, as well as Wolf Creek trustees and senior management.

The main objective of the evening was to strengthen relationships between the school division and its municipal partners. The WCPS board of trustees decided that this would also be a great opportunity to further one of its top initiatives: increasing the awareness of domestic violence. The board asked Ian Wheeliker, executive director of the Central Alberta Women’s Emergency Shelter (CAWES), to make a presentation during the evening on the impact of domestic violence on children. Wheeliker’s presentation highlighted that today’s children are tomorrow’s adults and that we need to do everything we can now so that children do not suffer from the long reaching effects of domestic violence.

“Our board has chosen domestic violence as one of our top initiatives and have raised awareness of the issue by arranging for a large percentage of our staff to attend presentations and training sessions throughout this school year,” commented board chair Trudy Bratland. “It is our hope that his presentation at the networking evening will continue to broaden the awareness of this issue that affects all parts of society and that through discussions with our municipal partners we may find ways in which we can all work together for the betterment of our communities.”

Joining Wheeliker to add their perspectives to the topic, were Lacombe Police Chief Gary Leslie and Lacombe Neighborhood Place co-ordinator Barb Walker. All three are members of Community Solutions to Family Violence and Bullying.

Following the presentation, attendees met in small groups to further discuss what their communities are currently doing in regard to domestic violence and to come up with suggestions for supporting this community initiative.

The Municipal Networking Evening was organized by the Wolf Creek Public Schools’ advocacy committee, a sub-committee of the board. This committee was formed in the fall of 2001 with two objectives: to advocate for public education, and to move public education forward.

“We are always looking for ways to advance public education and address the issues that affect our learning environments, such as domestic violence,” added Bratland. “An evening such as this enables

us to strengthen those relationships that are important when working together for the betterment of not only public education, but also for all aspects of our communities.”

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