Twelve B.C. communities will receive additional support and training opportunities to help at-risk kids get off the pathway to gun and gang violence.

Williams Lake and Prince George are two of the communities that will benefit from the Province’s one $1.12 million dollar investment supporting the new ERASE (Expect Respect and a Safe Education) school-based gang prevention program.

Funding will go to the BC School Superintendents Association to partner with the Boys Club Network for after-school programs and new local secondary courses focused on connecting teenage boys with positive adult role models and providing leadership and career development opportunities.

BCSSA will also use the funding to provide 2,200 students, 1,500 parents and 2,500 educators, law enforcement officials and representatives of community-based organizations with an opportunity to participate in gang prevention and awareness education and training sessions

“Young people are being supported to make the right decisions and not join gangs, with the backing of our education, law enforcement, and community partners,” Minister of Education, Rob Fleming said in a media release Tuesday.

“We’re ensuring all BC students receive an education free from discrimination, bullying, harassment, intimidation and most importantly, violence, for generations to come”.