Law schools try to aid at-risk youth

Law educators galvanized in part by the spate of gun killings in the city formed an association yesterday to provide mentoring programs for troubled youth, reported the Toronto Star Nov. 24. Such programs to help address the root causes of crime have been springing up spontaneously in recent weeks but in isolation, said Julia Hanigsberg, until recently executive assistant to Attorney General Michael Bryant and now a visiting professor at York’s Osgoode Hall Law School. “Even in the tiny world of Osgoode, I discovered three different organizations working with at-risk youth and none of them knew about each other,” she said in an interview during a break in an organizational meeting. Similar youth programs have also emerged at the Law Society of Upper Canada, the provincial justice department, the attorney general’s department and various city colleges, she discovered. All are aimed at educating selected at-risk high school students in legal rights and citizenship responsibilities.

The unusual number of gun killings in the city this year – 48 out of 70 homicides – and the recent violent outbreaks in the suburbs of Paris have provoked law educators into action, Hanigsberg said. “Many of us watched Paris burn – disenfranchised youth not knowing how to communicate through the corridors of power,” she said. “It doesn’t feel totally impossible that things like that could happen here.”

Fewer Ontario students smoking, drinking, using drugs, says survey

They’re called the Echo Boom generation and, though their parents consumed drugs at record levels, they’re more likely to be health conscious abstainers. A survey of Ontario youths released Wednesday showed a decline in smoking, drinking and illicit drug use over the past several years, reported Canadian Press Nov. 23. The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health has conducted the survey of students in Grades 7 to 12 every second year since 1977. In the spring of 2005, a total of 7,726 students participated in the survey administered by York’s Institute for Social Research.

On air

  • As provincial and territorial leaders prepared to meet about economic development initiatives on First Nation reserves, economist Fred Lazar of York’s Schulich School of Business discussed efficient economic policies that work for aboriginal people, on CBC Radio’s “Voyage North” out of Thunder Bay Nov. 23.
  • Bernie Wolf, director of the International MBA Program at York’s Schulich School of Business, was interviewed about international steel giant Arcelor’s $4.3-billion hostile bid to take over Hamilton’s Dofasco, on CBC Radio’s “Here and Now” and “The World at Six” Nov. 23.