CK, BK, red, blue, throwing C’s, and hearts with pitchforks.
What do these things have in common? They are all gang symbols and can be seen on student notebooks, writings, and backpacks in schools throughout the country. Middle school students in particular are being targeted to join gangs and begin a lifestyle of drugs, sex, and money. The question is what can we do to stop this spread of violence and criminal activity that is sweeping the nation? One of the first things you can do as an educator is build a relationship with your students. An open relationship will allow a student to feel comfortable talking to you when they are confronted with a difficult situation or when they know a friend is in danger. The second thing that must be done is educators must be trained in how to recognize and deal with potential gang behaviors as this is not a phenomena that is going away. After training the teacher in what gang activity is, we must teach that individual on how to communicate this sensitive subject to the parents. Most parents are in denial when it comes to their child and a possible involvement in gang activity. However, if we can involve the parent, the child, and community services (such as police, churches, social services, etc.) in teaching the dangers of gangs and what positive alternatives to gang life are available we might have a chance in making an impact in some of these students lives.