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Children & Gangs

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The increase in gang-related violence reinforces the need for parents to know where their children are, who they are with, and what they are doing.

Signs of Gang Involvement

How can you tell if your child is involved in a gang? Here are some early warning signs parents can look for:

  • School attendance and performance decline.
  • They change friends and you never meet their new friends.
  • They get into trouble with the law. Theft, truancy, running away, graffiti, vandalism, violence, and possession of weapons are common problems associated with gang activity.
  • They may be afraid to go to school because of threats of violence.
  • They may use nicknames or refer to their friends by nicknames.
  • You may notice alcohol and/or drug use.
  • You notice a change in dress and appearance. They want to wear only specific colors, over-sized clothing, bandannas, baseball caps, etc. Look for gang logos on the inside of coats and hats. They may also use tattoos to identify themselves.
  • You see a lack of interest or a complete withdrawal from school activities, sports programs, hobbies, etc.
  • Your children become difficult to communicate with. They become argumentative when you talk about their activities and friends.
  • Your children may not spend much time at home and may not want to attend family activities.
Causes & Results of Gang Activity
Preventing Gang Involvement
Consequences of Joining a Gang