Free student safety event to focus on teen suicide, bullying, human trafficking

The City of Long Beach, in partnership with the Long Beach Unified School District (LBUSD), will host a free Student Safety Symposium, featuring a series of informational workshops for parents and youth grades 6 to 12 on Saturday, Dec. 5 at 9am at Alexander Hamilton Middle School, 1060 E. 70th St. The event is part of the City’s Safe Long Beach My Sister’s Keeper awareness campaign.

“Long Beach is committed to supporting the needs of youth and families,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “Investing in the success and well-being of young people helps ensure the safety and quality of life for our entire community.”

The event will also feature information about community safety, health and wellness, teen suicide prevention and warning signs, addressing exploitative situations in schools and neighborhoods, and human trafficking prevention. Music, entertainment, and food will be provided.

“Hamilton Middle School is proud to host the Student Safety Symposium,” said Principal Kathleen Cruz. “We know this free educational opportunity will provide useful information for parents and students, helping to make our communities safer places to grow, learn and thrive.”

In January 2015, the Long Beach City Council accepted a three-year, $1.5 million California Gang Reduction, Intervention and Prevention Program (CalGRIP) grant to support anti-gang efforts and prevent the victimization of at-risk female youth. The CalGRIP grant, titled My Sister’s Keeper, is aimed at preventing gang membership and gang victimization among at-risk females between the ages of 10 and 24 years. The project includes a human-trafficking awareness campaign, mental health treatment, housing assistance and mentorship.

This is the seventh consecutive year that the City has been a recipient of the CalGRIP grant. Since 2008, more than 2,200 Long Beach youth and families have been served by CalGRIP funded programs and services.

“The Student Safety Symposium is a great opportunity for parents and students to learn about Internet safety, teen relationships, anti-bullying, and approaches for empowering youth to effectively respond to difficult life circumstances,” said 9th District Councilmember Rex Richardson. “It’s very important for youth to learn about these issues at an early age.”

My Sister’s Keeper is part of Safe Long Beach, the City’s Violence Prevention Plan. Adopted by the City Council in May 2014, Safe Long Beach addresses a broad safety agenda aimed at reducing all forms of violence, including domestic abuse, child abuse, elder abuse, hate crimes, bullying, gang violence and violent crime, according to the City.

For more information about My Sister’s Keeper, contact Teresa Gomez at (562) 570-6730 or Teresa.Gomez@longbeach.gov . For more information on Safe Long Beach, visit lbvpp.com .
To RSVP to attend one or more of the Student Safety Symposium workshops, go to http://bit.ly/1H9KaM6.

To anonymously report suspected human trafficking, call 1-800-539-2373.

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