Peter Lang is running for Chilliwack school trustee on Oct. 20.

Father of teen who died in government care to run for Chilliwack school board

Peter Lang, who is Métis, also wants to see more Indigenous representation in the district

Chilliwack resident Peter Lang who lost his son in government care has decided to run for school board.

Lang said he put his name forward for trustee out of concern there would not be enough Indigenous representation on the board over the coming four years.

Lang, who is Métis, has a background with the federal government, starting as a correctional officer with the Correctional Service of Canada in 2001 and eventually becoming Deputy Warden at Kwìkwèxwelhp Healing Village, which is located in Sts’ailes Territory.

He is currently assistant warden at a medium security facility in Abbotsford but he resides in Chilliwack.

Lang said he is concerned about allocation of resources within the district, lack of specialist supports for students within schools, and he felt some candidates were too focused on one issue.

“I think boards need multiple voices from diverse backgrounds in order to look out for the interests of all children and youth,” he said in a statement. “It concerns me that we could have yet another generation of youth growing up with scars of shame due to ostracizing or harassment. I don’t like that and I won’t stand by idly and watch it happen in my community.”

Lang lost his son, Nick Lang, in June of 2015. Nick, who was 15 years old at the time, struggled with addiction and likely an undiagnosed mental health issues prior to his death.

• READ MORE: Nick Lang’s Story: The tragic and preventable death of a teen in government care – Part 1

• READ MORE: Nick Lang’s Story: The tragic and preventable death of a teen in government care – Part 2

“Losing a child is the worst thing that could ever happen to someone,” Lang said. “A very big piece of me died on June 9, 2015 and I know his mom feels the same. I can choose to be bitter, but that won’t bring Nick back, or I can choose to hopefully make positive change for other youth in this community by being part of a board that ensures our schools are adequately resourced with teachers, educational assistants, specialists and support staff. Over and above all of that, I would like to see greater emphasis on mental wellness and addictions in our schools. I know it’s improving across our Province right now, but we have 16 years of neglect to make up here.”

• READ MORE: Chilliwack mother of teen who died in care confronts BC Liberal election candidates

Lang stated he will focus on safe and inclusive schools, resource allocation, indigenous culture and history in the local curriculum, and mental health/addiction supports for youth who are struggling.

“I want to see a robust public education system that is responsive to the needs of ALL children or youth, and a system that is well prepared for the youth of tomorrow. This takes a broad and long term vision, and I think I bring that to the table.”

• READ MORE: Click here for all your Chilliwack Municipal Election coverage in one place


@PeeJayAitch
paul.henderson@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Open houses discouraged as Chilliwack realtors look for a way forward

March saw strong sales but April likely to see lower numbers

Cookie’s Grill owners help Meals on Wheels keep rolling in Chilliwack

Colleen and Colin Connolly are working hard to get food to seniors and others in need of a good meal

Chilliwack hospital offers thank-you message to community

Chilliwack health-care workers say they have heard everyone’s support throughout COVID-19 pandemic

UPDATE: Vehicle crash leaves 1,200 Chilliwack BC Hydro customers in the dark

Motor vehicle incident involving power pole could leave Fairfield Island residents in dark until 7:30 p.m.

Organ donation gives Fraser Valley RCMP officer a second chance at life

Cathleen Falebrinza celebrates Green Shirt Day after receiving a double lung transplant in 2016.

COVID-19: 4 new deaths, 25 new cases but only in Vancouver Coastal, Fraser Health

A total of 1,291 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

B.C. secures motel, hotel rooms for COVID-19 shelter space

Community centres, rooms reserved for pandemic self-isolation

Sanders drops 2020 bid, leaving Biden as likely nominee

Sanders plans to talk to his supporters later Wednesday

B.C. faith leaders, Horgan discuss need for virtual religious ceremonies

Leaders were open to providing other ways to celebrate during the pandemic

Emergency COVID-19 funding now available for children with special needs

Funding to be used to help support families through uncertain times of pandemic

Revenue dip needed to qualify for wage subsidy drops to 15% in March: Trudeau

Wage subsidy would over 75% of each employee’s salary for qualifying businesses

B.C. closes all provincial parks for COVID-19 protection

Easter weekend approaches, camping already closed

Air Canada says it will apply for wage subsidy to rehire workers after cutting 16,500 jobs

Air Canada said March revenues fell by more than 30 per cent year over year

Most Read