Gang signs: ‘They prey on children. They shouldn’t be here.’
Gang Signs. “Since January ‘16 — think of this — MS-13 gang members have brutally murdered 17 beautiful, young lives in this area on Long Island alone,” President Donald J. Trump remarked to law enforcement officials in Ronkonkoma, New York on July 28, 2017. “Think of it. They butcher those little girls. They kidnap, they extort, they rape and they rob. They prey on children. They shouldn’t be here. They stomp on their victims. They beat them with clubs. They slash them with machetes, and they stab them with knives. They have transformed peaceful parks and beautiful, quiet neighborhoods into bloodstained killing fields. They’re animals.”
“We cannot tolerate as a society the spilling of innocent, young, wonderful, vibrant people — sons and daughters, even husbands and wives,” the President continued. “We cannot accept this violence one day more. Can’t do it, and we’re not going to do it…You’re not going to allow it to happen, and we’re backing you up 100 percent. Remember that — 100 percent.”
Trump said these different gangs “were all let in here over a relatively short period of time. Not during my period of time, believe me. But we’re getting them out. They’re going to jails, and then they’re going back to their country. Or they’re going back to their country, period.”
“I have a simple message today for every gang member and criminal alien that are threatening so violently our people: We will find you, we will arrest you, we will jail you, and we will deport you.” –President Donald J. Trump
The new school year begins later this month. Here is vital information and action items for every community and school district in America:
What You Can Do if You Suspect Gang Involvement
- Don’t allow gang related behavior or displays of gang affiliation. Talk about these warning signs to determine if kids are just curious or imitating gang culture, if they’re being recruited by a gang or if they may already be involved.
- Discuss the dangers and consequences of gang involvement with your kids. Imitating gang related behavior can also be dangerous.
- Contact law enforcement to learn about the levels of gang related crime and activity in your community and at your student’s school.
- Contact youth service providers or school counselors for referrals to organizations that have experience in addressing gang and other delinquency related issues.
Gangs in Schools
Schools are the primary place for young people to socialize and interact so they are a natural choice for recruiting and drug distribution. The presence of gangs in schools can disrupt the learning environment, cause fear among students, and create a negative impression of the school.
Gang activity at schools can also have an adverse affect on the community that the school is located in because they can initiate violence both on and off the campus. However, gangs at schools can be limited and their activity can be controlled if school administrators acknowledge their presence and develop proactive plans that include gang prevention, intervention, and suppression strategies, and information sharing processes.
What Schools Can Do to Address Gang Activity
- Adopt a zero tolerance policy towards gang activity.
- Work with school resource officers or local law enforcement on identification and suppression strategies.
- Educate staff and parents about gangs; warning signs and indicators.
- Provide referrals and assistance to parents and students.
- Document and abate graffiti as soon as possible.
- Institute anti-gang education and prevention programs.
- Develop a conflict mediation process for students.
- Keep up to date on gang activity within the school’s neighborhood.
- Share information.
“The Aryan Brotherhood of Texas and Aryan Circle are also active in the Midland-Odessa and San Angelo areas. Other noteworthy gangs are the Texas Syndicate,Texas Mexican Mafia, Crips (various cliques), Bloods (various cliques), Bandidos, and Latin Kings are home to a few of the state’s most established gangs.” –Texas Department of Public Safety Gang Assessment
Gangs and the Community
Although their presence may go unnoticed, criminal street gangs exist in many communities within rural areas and urban cities. They can be territorial or profit motivated, committing both violent and non-violent crimes that can negatively affect a community’s overall quality of life.
As with all crime related issues in a community, residents should be aware of and report crime and suspicious activity to law enforcement officials. Community involvement is as important as policing in the effort to prevent, control and stop crime.
Things a Community Can Do to Address Gang Activity
- Educate yourself on gangs. Know the warning signs and indicators.
- Abate graffiti on your property as soon as possible. Report graffiti that is on public property to the city or the county.
- Report crime or suspicious activity to law enforcement. Be as specific as possible with the information you provide.
- Be active in your community and attend meetings to get updates on crime in and around your neighborhood.
- Get to know your neighbors. Organize citizens on patrol or neighborhood watch groups, phone or email trees to alert neighbors about recent incidents. Utilize your community newsletter or website to post reports on activity.