Drug and gang forum scheduled Monday after teen killed outside Surrey high school

Click to play video: 'Surrey drug and gang forum for teens and parents'
Surrey drug and gang forum for teens and parents
WATCH: A forum is being held in Surrey Monday night to help keep youth out of gangs. Organizers Nausheen Dhanda and Kal Donsanjh talk about the importance of getting the message out to the community – Dec 12, 2022

Youth and parents are being invited to a forum on gangs and drugs in Surrey, B.C., Monday evening, in the wake of a fatal stabbing outside of a local high school.

Mehakpreet Sethi, 18, died following an altercation in a parking lot outside Tamanawis Secondary on Nov. 22.

Read more: Suspect arrested, victim identified in fatal stabbing outside Surrey, B.C. high school

Surrey RCMP arrested a 17-year-old in the killing, and believe the suspect and victim knew one another.

Nausheen Dhanda, a 16-year-old Tamanawis student and youth program coordinator with the KidsPlay Foundation, said the stabbing sent shockwaves through the school community, and that some kids were afraid to come to class in the days afterward.

“We really need to make sure that we as students feel safe in our schools as well, and if we’re not doing that, what are we really doing?” she told Global News Morning.

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Click to play video: 'Teenager dead following stabbing outside Surrey school'
Teenager dead following stabbing outside Surrey school

KidsPlay is a non-profit organization that focuses on keeping kids away from drugs, gangs and violence through opportunities like sports and conferences.

Kal Dosanjh, a Vancouver police officer and founder and CEO of KidsPlay said the goal of the forum will be education and awareness.

He told Global News Morning he’s hoping to see a big turnout of parents as well as youth.

“The primary principle behind these types of forums is to bring the entire community together — you’ve got to keep in mind our target audience is not just primarily focused on the youth element,” Dosanjh said.

Read more: 18-year-old dead after stabbing outside Surrey, B.C. high school

“We also need to take into consideration that if we don’t change the home environment no significant or substantive change is going to happen, and so we would like parents to come out in droves, because here is an opportunity for them to learn something in sync with their kids.”

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Dhanda said the event will feature numerous speakers, including those with lived experience around contact with gang life.

The event is free and no registration is required.

The forum kicks off at 6 p.m. at Surrey’s Taj Park Convention Centre at 8580 132 St.

Click to play video: 'Youth gang prevention programs aims to keep young people out of trouble'
Youth gang prevention programs aims to keep young people out of trouble

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