UFV course explores violence potential in youth

The relationship between violence and youth is an issue that became even more poignant with the theatre shooting in Aurora

The relationship between violence and youth is an issue that became even more poignant with the theatre shooting in Aurora earlier this year.

What could have been done differently? What could have stopped it? What can stop this from happening in the future?

These are all questions that will be discussed and debated in a new Continuing Studies course at the University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) this coming fall.

Assessing Risk: Understanding Violence Potential in Youth is constructed for students, counsellors, professors, social workers, and anyone who works with youth, and will help professionals identify youth at risk.

The course focuses on the evolution of violent behavior in youth, and explain to the students what signs are worrisome and which are harmless.

The key to this course is the fact that it deals with a scale of violence — from name-calling to bullying to incidents such as the Aurora shooting.

“Often courses are built around school shootings, which is a very rare occurrence,” noted Peter van den Hoogen, one of the course instructors.

“Instead, this course will help participants view individuals from a lifespan approach, and identify factors that may lead individuals to act aggressively.”

The course will be taught by van den Hoogen (M. Ed.) and Sue Dorey (M.S.W.), both of whom work in a large Lower Mainland School District.

The course format will involve placing  students in cohorts to tackle the modules as a team.

Polished teamwork skills will be important for anyone who will need to recognize violent tendencies in youth, van den Hoogen noted. The course will be held on the Abbotsford Campus, and runs Sept. 12 to Dec. 5 on Wednesday evenings. For information visit http://www.ufv.ca/Continuing_Studies.htm or email Annette.Vogt@ufv.ca.