Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Warrier Boyz

I am playing catch up. Last week at the VSB there was another film screening. This time it was Warrier Boyz
Several years ago, I met Baljit Sangra, the film maker whose cousin, Harjinder Sangra, happens to be a Vancouver teacher and a good friend of mine. Bal had just started work on the project and I was fascinated. For eleven years, I taught at Moberly Elementary. While there, there were several gang related deaths which deeply touched my students. One murder happened a couple of blocks from the school and involved the uncle of several students. The infamous Bindy Johal was another student's cousin. My students knew people in gangs and I worried that some of my students too would be recruited. I wanted to understand what was going on.
This film is excellent as it focuses on three young men, one who was once a gang member and left , another high school student who has been expelled from one school and is now at Princess Margaret in Surrey and trying to get on a straighter path, and the final student, also a Princess Margaret student, who still seems in deep danger. One of the positive points of the film is the portrait of a vice-principal who really cares and makes a difference.
Last week there was a screening and discussion at Moberly with students and parents. Screenings have occurred at Windermere and in several other schools in the Lower Mainland. If you haven't seen it I totally recommend it. It will be on Knowledge network tonight at 10:00. It's also available through VSB's media services.

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