Local school violence prevention team lauded

The School Violence Prevention Team at Fort High got a pat on the back Wednesday as Fort Frances OPP S/Sgt. Hugh Dennis presented it with an award for excellence in crime control.
“This group started as an offshoot of the Community Policing Committee and started to address the problem of school violence,” S/Sgt. Dennis told committee members gathered at Fort High for their regular meeting.
“In the past few years, there has been a great improvement on school violence in Fort Frances,” he added.
S/Sgt. Dennis then presented team chair Patti Jo Reid with a provincial award of excellence in crime control for their efforts.
The province reviewed hundreds of programs before handing out these awards and S/Sgt. Dennis said the 12-member team—made up of volunteers, educators, and police officers—should be proud of its achievements.
Since it began, the team has made numerous presentations to parents, teachers, and principals about how to stop bullying and other school violence issues.
It also was instrumental in creating an OPP liaison office at Fort High, where students can speak with police about their concerns. It also has led to an increased police presence at the school.
S/Sgt. Dennis noted there has been a dramatic change in the occurrences of school violence and a change in the environment of Fort High over the last few years, which he said is a direct result of the prevention team.

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