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FWCS approves expansion of peacemaker program to all high schools

Ella Abbott
Peacekeeper Chris Lahr stands under flowers hung from the ceiling at South Side High School that commemorate victims of gun violence on Oct. 24. The Peacekeeper program has been in place at South Side for two years.

Fort Wayne Community Schools will expand the Alive Peacemaker program to all five high schools within the district.

The SAFER FWCS referendum passed by voters in November will fund the Peacemaker program. It will put a Peacemaker in four more schools, in addition to South Side High School where the program has been in place for two years, and hire a director who will oversee all five schools.

The program is through Alive Community Outreach, which was co-created by Angelo Mante and his wife Marie. Mante said they already have a lot of strong candidates to sort through.

“The plan for this year initially was to bring on Northside and Northrop, but now because of the candidate pool that we have in front of us we’re having conversations about accelerating the other two schools," he said.

The Peacemaker program helps students learn to resolve conflict and find outlets for anger and frustration without disrupting other students or their own work. It’s built on Martin Luther King Jr.’s six principles of nonviolence.

The program also helps empower and train student leaders to help create and maintain an environment of peace.

Mante said the plan is for all five schools to have an operational Peacemaker program by next school year.

Ella Abbott is a multimedia reporter for 89.1 WBOI. She is a strong believer in the ways audio storytelling can engage an audience and create a sensory experience.
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