Approaches to Managing School Gangs White Paper
Excerpt from White Paper :
Gangs in Public School
Many schools especially in urban and suburban areas continue to register gang-related activities within their premises and involving their students. This study appreciates the dangers associated with such gangs to the schools and other stakeholders around them. Various laws and regulation have been passed in different states in the U.S. allow parents to withdraw their children from certain public schools. Schools reputed for gang-related problems stand to lose students. This paper provides the scope of action steps in which schools take to intervene, prevent, and suppress the scope of violent gang activity while establishing crisis response plans. The strategies are developed to address potential actions of school violence including gang activity.
Gang members bring in their attitudes, behaviors, and conflicts to the school compounds. The dangerous gang issues and activities of a given community take place within local schools. Gang members take on each other within school hours such as in the lunchroom, during class changes, in common areas, and during school events and assemblies. Students loitering around school campus after and before school may fall into conflicting situations with rival gangs. Gang members proceed to schools with the aim of engaging criminal behavior such as drug dealing or confronting rivals. The overriding potential to develop violence within gang interactions within the school and in the presence of school administrators and staff members formulates plans for dealing with gang activities (Macnab, 2012). Law enforcement information helps in determining the level and scope of gang crime within an immediate local community. The analysis plays essential roles in appropriating the school's response to various gangs. Schools from urban communities have serious gang-related violence levels that require an adoption of policies and programs in prevention, intervention, and suppression (Schmidt, 2014). Public schools from areas that have less serious gang offending levels focus on the activities of prevention and intervention while building on collaborative gang prevention networks with immediate partner agencies (Garot, 2010).
In larger communities, schools continue to operate like islands with staff and school administrators minding their businesses. The belief is that immunity for community problems arises from the failure to recognize gang activity signs at school. Heavy-handed encounters to gangs through pushes off the gang-involved youth from educational and school opportunities thereby exacerbating individual and community gang problems. For various reasons, denial appears to be a prevalence of school administrators. Although many principals report presence of school gangs, many of them believe that gangs are within the immediate communities (Macnab, 2012). In fact, close to ten percent of public schools have high student participation rates in gangs with more students reporting to joining them. Few principals reported the progress and presence of socialized gangs. Governments are working towards the establishment of policies and interventions to control moral behavior among students and secure learning environments for all.
Some of the negative ramifications used by school administrators include insufficient funding resulting from population decrease. Besides, failure to have an adequate process to address all gang problems leads to increased victimization risks in school settings for the staff members and students. Schools are encouraged to walk along fine balance of overreacting to gang problems and attempts of hiding or downplaying them (Schmidt, 2014).
Schools are reluctant in sharing information alongside gang activities within and around public schools due to fear of violating any confidentiality law. The scenario is seen with school staff lacking adequate training policies. Schools have a legal obligation of sharing information for gang-involved students based on agency boundaries and other key juvenile probation/parole and law enforcement agencies. Public schools have the responsibility of continually sharing policies and procedures information with parents and students that relate to gangs (Macnab, 2012). Additionally, schools as well as law enforcement agencies should share more information on gang-related incidents that involve students for campus issues and community concerns. The shared information helps the entities in preventing further acts resulting from retaliation and violence. Schools and school districts with open forums to address gang problems realize that students and faculty members solicit inclusion of parents and community in having safer and secure emotional drive.
Students in schools setting are encouraged to formulate and sustain positive relationships with adults. Students feeling that they belong to schools valuing them are less likely to be involved t in negative behaviors of drug use and gang participation. The connections are not common occurrences in
classrooms and extracurricular activities. The inclusion is based on interactions with alternative school personnel (Garot, 2010). School employees can be encouraged to connect with their counterparts like teacher assistants, counselors, school resource officers, and clerical staff who play essential roles in advancing the young people's lives needed. The safe and welcoming approaches of schools are created in times that school personnel strives towards making students feel wanted and needed.
Gang intervention among school administrations takes different approaches. Whole-school approaches establish strict standards for behavior such as enforcement of dress-code policies that deny access to gang identifiers and paraphernalia. Whole-school techniques ensure that staff members are subjected to training on latest gang identifiers and trends in the monitoring of gang members (Kinnear, 2009). Students with gang involvement violate behavior and dress codes and are liable to suspension and expulsion from schools depending on the severity of subsequent infractions. The approach is appropriated while public schools add prescriptive reentry programs to expelled or suspended students. Reentry programs include parents and guardians taking on parenting classes for gang-involved students. Programs included in the scope of activities include mental health assistance, social-emotional counseling, and skill development attempts. Students should complete the syllabus prior being allowed to undertake a transition into traditional schools from alternative education (Schmidt, 2014). Public schools may include differentiated student assistance programs aimed at helping youth in learning skills necessary to achieve success in addressing behavior guidelines in schools.
Individual intervention approaches to address gang issues seek to have a redirection of gang-involved learners from the activities. The process of enforcing behavior codes and gang dress codes requires active solicitation. The goal of proactive subjection includes providing gang-involved learners with support and skills to empower them in withdrawing from gang life. Schools should opt to perform the pullout program while pulling students from classes through rotational basis does not miss achieving the intended goals. The concepts are used through lunchtime programs, Saturday school programs, opportunity classes and on-campus suspensions (Branch, 2013). All mechanisms under the approach are geared towards providing students with skills, knowledge, motivation, and connections to start the process of removing themselves from gangs among other forms of gang-related behaviors. The government agencies on education are actively implementing strong intervention efforts to address school-based gangs (Schmidt, 2014). Developed countries have 16-week curricula designed to target gang members while identifying and processing consequences of gang involvement prior moving to skill development. Approaches allow gang-involved individuals to connect and bond with positive role models while providing more community-service opportunities.
Schools have an important role in developing an increased aspect of recruitment as well as expanded programs involved in providing students with avenues of participating in the rehabilitative activities. Public schools can work towards getting students' input regarding potential barriers based on participation within the school and desired activities. The activities are not the major focus on sports alone (Garot, 2010). Public schools are allowing groups that avail positive alternatives to students in gang related situations to advertize around school grounds. The groups include local community centers as well as government recreation programs. Public schools are encouraged to invest in the advancement of targeted programs that provide students with helping the hand to the achievement of academic success. School failure within the early stages is one of the factors contributing towards students joining gangs (Kinnear, 2009). Programs designed to help students achieve grade-level academic skills can be diversified with the aim of achieving feelings of personal competence and decrease of attraction to gangs.
Asking staff members to have an accessible routing to students within school hours generates beneficial relationships with school staff such as teachers, counselors, and coaches. The schemes of service are important resources for students who lack alternative positive role models, as well as sustainable adult support (Schmidt, 2014). The stakeholders can provide effective strategies geared towards solving problems and resolving disputes. Public schools can consider presenting student's classes on issues of anger management, peer mediation, and conflict resolution aimed at helping them learn the best ways of independently solving problems. School staff can receive such training for purposes of modeling positive skills in conflict resolution among students. Schools are based on issues of roughhousing of codes of conduct and streamlining of behavior with ease in escalating to serious conflicts (Branch, 2013). An approach to preventing gang problems includes focus on resolving problems prior growing them into big issues. School staff members require strong visibility in terms of implementation.
In conclusions, members should take the front line roles in advancing school's defense from gang involvement. Many school campuses have few teachers with the willingness and capacity to undertake stands against all forms of…
Sources Used in Documents:
Branch, C., (2013). Adolescent Gangs: Old Issues, New Approaches. New York: Routledge.
Garot, R. (2010). Who You Claim: Performing Gang Identity in School and on the Streets. NYU Press
Kinnear, K.L. (2009). Gangs: A Reference Handbook. New York: ABC-CLIO.
Macnab, N. (2012). Uncle Sam's Schoolhouse: Bullying, Predators, and Students. New York: Dog Ear Publishing
Cite This White Paper: