Parents are the first lines
of defense in combating the gang problem.
It is up to each parent to
show the child that they are loved. It is not enough to simply say, "I
love you." The child needs parental interaction to show him or her that
you really do love him and you care about his welfare. Youths join gangs
for a variety of reasons.
Many youths join gangs because they do
not have, or do not feel like they have, a family life. A gang promises
to give this feeling of "family" to the youth. Other youths join gangs
due to peer pressure, fear, excitement, drugs, money, or intimidation.
Whatever the reason, a
parent needs to recognize the identifiers and telltale signs of gang
membership in order to make every possible attempt to keep the youth in,
or return him to, his "real family."
Educators are equally
important in shaping a child's life. Like the parents, each teacher must
show the child that they not only care about them as individuals, but
also, about the future that lies ahead of each of them.
Schools should not allow
gang clothing, colors, or gang signs and symbols to be worn or displayed
on school grounds. "Zero tolerance" is a policy adopted by many school
It is time for America to reclaim it's kids. It's time for all of
society, parents, teachers, and communities to say enough is enough.
It's time for everyone to learn about gangs and how to recognize them.
Just Say "No" To Gangs
Many years ago, First Lady Nancy Reagan, had a program she called "Just
say no to drugs." The purpose of the program was to educate our youth
about the dangers of drugs.
Today, a "Just
say no to gangs" program could be a huge stepping stone to educating our
kids. The education should begin at the earliest possible level since it
has been documented that kids in elementary school have been known to
become connected with gangs.
Classroom discussions about
gangs are an excellent means to convey the proper message to the
students. These discussions can lead to a real learning experience, not
only for the students, but for the educator as well.
The following video is from a recent gang awareness class that I gave
to approximately 300 citizens in the city of Lafayette, Indiana
Why Kids Join Gangs
To gain a sense of
belonging and sense of attachment
To escape intolerable
situations at home
To emulate admired
persons -older siblings, mother, father, tough guys in the neighbor
To escape poverty
membership (through threats and intimidation; peer pressure)
To become rich and
To "Get Back" at
adventure and excitement
To be "Somebody" or
Gangs Recruiting In Schools
Initiations, usually a jump-in like the one in the
video below, occur every day in our schools
Best viewed in full screen
The following video is meant to have an effect on
Gang life is not about living - it is about dying!
The following video in three parts is valuable
information for every community
Vegas Gangs: not our kids! Part 1
Las Vegas Gangs: not our
kids! Part 2
Las Vegas Gangs: not our
kids! Part 3
Everyone must learn
Like the parents, the
educator, without some knowledge as to how to identify gangs, will not
recognize the signs of gang activity and therefore lose a valuable tool;
a tool or aid that not only will assist in communications and
interactions with the students, but with other educators, parents and
Parents Guide to Gangs
This pocket guide contains information on behaviors
associated with joining gangs, common gang identifiers, and what parents
can do. An individual may order up to 100 free copies in
English or Spanish. To order, CLICK HERE.
Tippecanoe County, Indiana Project Safe Neighborhoods
What a community can do!!!
Acknowledge The Existence of Gangs In Your Community
The link below is a viewer participation web site for youths,
parents, teachers and citizens. Follow the
conversations and answer questions when they are asked for follow-up
Consulting Solutions Inc. - CSI
Criminal Street Gang
What is CSI?
Consulting Solutions Inc./Criminal Street
gang Intelligence ser
in more than 22 states around the United States
with headquarters in
Delaware and New Jersey. CSI is also the National Concerned
Officers Organization On Gang Activities Inc.
Consulting Solution Incfamily
focuses on keeping children out of gangs and violence and away from
racial bias and hate crime activities.
Teens experience a high rate of crime
victimization than any other age group, twice that of the general adult
population and ten times that of the elderly for violent crime.
One of the
primary missions of CSI Is to bring together schools, community
organizations, law enforcement, religious organizations, social
service agencies, mental health providers, concerned parents,
young people and the general community to address timely issues
that effect the community directly and indirectly.
Another new helpful web site
Created by former gang members, the Crown of Life
Comics web site is about a group of Christians who are attempting to
reach out to gang members young and old. This site is well
organized and offers gang related articles, videos, forums and more.
Everyday, hundreds of our youths, who are not gang members, are confronted
by actual gang members who do everything they can to intimidate, coerce, or
intimidate the non-gang member into joining. Regardless of where you live,
these scenarios may be
taking place in your neighborhood, over and over each
For further information relating to gangs and gangs members in the home or school, please click the links below.
Life Impact is a leadership
and life skills program designed to prepare youth for a successful future. Life
impact is not your average youth development program. Seminars are planned with
organized lessons that come alive with stories, music, video clips, and other
visual aids that support the message.
The City of Albany's Department of Youth and Family
Services has successfully instituted a Gang Prevention Program (GPP)to work with
the city's "at risk youth" ages 9 to 15, who may be at risk of joining a gang.
BOYS & GIRLS CLUBS OF AMERICA
-1230 West Peachtree, Atlanta, GA 30309; 404-815-5764; national
headquarters gang prevention through targeted outreach program.
BOYS TOWN NATIONAL HOTLINE - 800-448-3000
CHILD ABUSE HOTLINE - 800-482-5964; to report child abuse or
NATIONAL CONGRESS OF PARENTS &
TEACHERS - 700 Rush St., Chicago, Ill 60611; 312-670-6782
NATIONAL GRAFFITI INFORMATION NETWORK - P.O. Box 400, Hurricane, UT
Remember: The time to talk to your child about the pitfalls of gangs and gang membership is when the child is sitting in his chair at the dinner table…Not when he is about to sit in the electric chair!!!