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REF NO.: 160

SUBJECT: Memorial University public forum to explore how to build safer schools

DATE: Aug. 15

Memorial University’s Leslie Harris Centre for Regional Policy and Development, as part of the Edge 2013 conference, will host a Memorial Presents public forum on the roots of youth violence and how we might start to build safer, schools and societies.
Dr. Ursula Kelly, Faculty of Education professor at Memorial, will present her paper Pushing Back from the Edge: Ruminations on Education in Difficult Times. Dr. Kelly will be accompanied by a panel consisting of high school student Mikaela Clark-Gardner, parent Scott Morton-Ninomiya and Thrive executive director Angela Crockwell.
Dr. Kelly will present an analysis of the socio-cultural climate of education in Newfoundland and Labrador, examining issues of bullying, violence, aggression and neglect as messages sent by people who are struggling to belong in a culture that promotes individualism and disconnection. The broad scope of the panel will give perspectives from parents, students and community professionals.
“Our schools are struggling to adapt to the rapidly changing culture in Newfoundland and Labrador and provide a safe refuge for young people to learn and grow,” said conference organizer Dr. Dorothy Vaandering, professor with Memorial’s Faculty of Education and Edge 2013 chair. “The harm and injustices youth are currently facing in our schools are issues that we need to tackle together – students, teachers, parents, academics, community members and policy makers. This Memorial Presents session aims to open the discussion and take up the challenge to find solutions.”
The public session takes place from 7:30-9:30 p.m. at the Bruneau Centre for Research and Innovation on Wednesday, Aug. 21. The session will be webcast at the Harris Centre’s website for those unable to attend in person at
Memorial Presents is an ongoing series of public forums hosted by the Harris Centre on issues of important public policy in Newfoundland and Labrador. The Edge 2013 conference is a partnership between Memorial University’s Faculty of Education, the Newfoundland and Labrador Teachers Association and the Red Cross and will take place Aug. 21-23 at the St. John’s campus of Memorial University.

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For more information, please contact Cathy Newhook, communications co-ordinator, Harris Centre, Memorial University, at 709-864-7918 or


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