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Gang signs?

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 
What do gang signs mean? A sideways peace sign? then some funky other thing with the other hand, peace sign again with the pinky up too and the middle finger down? There are some new kids that visited our neighborhood this summer. I have a horrible gut feeling about them and I have tried to keep ds away from them, and ds has been sneaking out to hang out with them and getting calls at all hours of the night. Of course, since I have her phone, I am commendeering her texts. That's when I found the pics on her phone of the kids in question and herself flashing these gang signs. I told the last character who called I would track him down.
post #2 of 35
I don't know what they REALLY mean, but I know around here they are used so frequently because they think they look 'cool', not that there's any gang activity.
post #3 of 35
Most kids make certain signs to imitate gang signs, the vast majority are not in gangs. For example, if you live in a "Watertown" your kid may pose with fingers in a "W"-kwim? I would not assume she was in a gang based on pics with fingers thrown. That is very, very common for teens. I would look at other sctions and activities first!
post #4 of 35
A gang sign is something people in gangs usually do to show which gang they are in, or to convey a message without rival gangs knowing. But, as the gangster culture has gotten popular, kids who have no affiliation to any gangs flash them to look cool. I doubt there’s any real gang stuff going on, just some kids trying to impress.
post #5 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bestbirths View Post
then some funky other thing with the other hand, peace sign again with the pinky up too and the middle finger down?
Um are you talking about the index and middle finger up with the ring finger down and the pinky out? If it is what I think it is, this is about intentional, joking, vulgarity and not about gangs at all.

This hand gesture is called "The Shocker" It really caught on when I was in college and has been going strong since then.

Originally it meant a vulgar act, but since then it has gained the connotation of besting someone in a contest, especially with a suprise ending. Often in the street/drag racing world the use of Nitrous Oxide at the end of a race is referred to as "The Shocker" (indeed I have several friends with nitrous bottles with this hand gesture printed on them). In video games, often a comeback victory or a victory with hidden troops/weapons is referred to with this hand gesture. Another contextual example for this would be if you cut someone off in traffic and they flipped you off, you would reply with "the shocker" to say "Hah, didn't see that one comming did you."

Mostly it is about making a very vulgar gesture that adults don't recognize as vulgar... so I have ruined it.
post #6 of 35
It's all pretty silly from the kids I know that are doing that, including mine. I have a picture of my Dd and some friends doing the sideways peace sign stuff, and they were "trying" to look dumb on purpose. They are about as far away from gangster as you can get.
post #7 of 35
I will be the voice of dissent here. I would never take any sign of gang activity lightly. EVER. I don't know your daughter, only you do. You must look within yourself and determine if you have seen a change in her behavior.

Throwing signs, whether you are in a gang or not can be dangerous business.
Rival gang members are known to attack or kill each other, and "playing" gang can misrepresent who you are and get a teen into a dangerous situation.

Your surest bet is to take the photo to the police station, they have people trained in reading signs and graffiti. They will tell you if it is a gang sign or just teen age joking.
post #8 of 35
Also please search youtube for "white girls and gang signs" it is a spoof song about the rediculious prevalence of non-gang member suburban girls throwing gang signs on myspace.
post #9 of 35
Quote:
Your surest bet is to take the photo to the police station, they have people trained in reading signs and graffiti. They will tell you if it is a gang sign or just teen age joking.
I think going to the police would be a bit much. Talk to your DD.

Quote:
Also please search youtube for "white girls and gang signs" it is a spoof song about the rediculious prevalence of non-gang member suburban girls throwing gang signs on myspace.
Yep. All my teen cousins have pics like this. None are in gangs, none even know anyone in a gang.
post #10 of 35
Thread Starter 
I saw white girls and gang signs on Youtube but even though they make it out to be a joke it is not too funny to me. We have had some recent vandalism at our local park. My teen seems to be finding all of the most dangerous parts of the internet, online gaming, blogs, people getting her phone number and crapola type friends lately. I talked with her and she had no idea about gangs. Maybe because we don't watch the news or read the paper, but maybe I should google some pics of gangs and their activity and the dangers that they are. I explained it to her, but really, she is a hands on and visual learner, so explaining doesn't go far. I don't think throwing signs should be a cool thing to do, especially when it's combined with the other dangerous activities that have been going on, like having strangers call her cellphone at all hours of the night. I called the people who called her at 1 and 2 am back at 7:30 am (when they probably would be fast asleep, he, he) and gave them a wake up call asking them not to call my daughter in the middle of the night.

She's recieved threats on her cellphone from someone who got her phone number and she doesn't know how, and while gaming online someone said they knew where she lived because they hacked into the payment center at Bungie and got her personal info. I think I should change her cell phone number. This is kind of a separate issue but my teen seems to be drawing all kinds of trouble to herself. Gang signs while they may "mean something nasty" or something is more of a relief, but still very worrysome, when you combine the other stuff that is going on with her.
post #11 of 35
It does seem like your Dd's situation is a bit different than what I was getting earlier. For my Dd and her friends it's all just totally random and silly. They aren't involved with those things so we aren't concerned.

I hope you can help your Dd stay safe if she is involved.
post #12 of 35
Thread Starter 
I think she finally gets it after a major going through of last months cell phone bill to show her all of the people we don't know that she's been on the phone with.

I am now thinking the gang signs were more the silly fun type of thing for them. She didn't even know what they meant. We educated her about gangs and she was like why didn't you tell me, I didn't know. I was like I am not going to tell you about every horrible thing that goes on in this world, yk?

We are changing her cellphone number and in the future she plans to only give her info. out to people she knows, so the phone calls in the night were a totally separate issue. One person she shared her phone number with shared it with a group that is prank calling, plus she has been talking to boys she has met online on xbox live at night on her cellphone. Which ain't happening anymore if she want's to keep the cell phone. Most of the cell phone calls were from out of state and the two kids I have a gut feeling about are moving in a week, so i just plan to keep her close (take her everywhere I go) until they are out of town.

Its really a totally scary world with teens and technology, when your teen isn't listening to your warnings, but I think she knows she is very close to not having a cell phone if she doesn't operate it safely.
post #13 of 35
I am glad to hear that you spoke with your daughter. You sound like a great mom.
post #14 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maggie05 View Post
I will be the voice of dissent here. I would never take any sign of gang activity lightly. EVER. I don't know your daughter, only you do. You must look within yourself and determine if you have seen a change in her behavior.

Throwing signs, whether you are in a gang or not can be dangerous business.
Rival gang members are known to attack or kill each other, and "playing" gang can misrepresent who you are and get a teen into a dangerous situation.

Your surest bet is to take the photo to the police station, they have people trained in reading signs and graffiti. They will tell you if it is a gang sign or just teen age joking.
I'll dissent with you ....
from the sounds of the original post, it didn't strike me as gang-related, but who knows? I'm not a gang expert!
What DID stand out to me was this ..... "horrible gut feeling about them"
God gives us intuition for a reason ... the times I've ignored my "gut reactions", I've been sorry, cause it was right!
post #15 of 35
Thread Starter 
Yes, I was more concerned about the gang signs because I have a horrible gut feeling about them. I have made sure to keep my children away from those kids, even going to great lengths to be away from home, take the children with me when I normally would leave them at home, and to be gone with the children doing other things until they move, which is supposed to be next week. Thank God! I changed dd's cell phone number today. The kids came to the door and i told them that dd was grounded. Even though she's not. I didn't see the point in a confrontation when they will be gone in a week.

BTW, the cell phone, for ten dollars a month can add a gps (global positioning service) plus it will allow me to set limits on the times that the phone can be used. For example, dd is not supposed to use her cellphone after 10, but 17 days last month she used her cellphone after 10, and even up to 1 and 2 am, talking and texting to people (all boys) we don't know. I can set limits on the phone to shut off and be unusable after ten through this online parental control.

We have a rule that we have to meet her friends AND their parents before she can have a relationship with them. This is more difficult as they get older, and at some point in there it becomes silly, but for now, at 14, it is still needed. Meeting friends and their parents first is SO hard with online gaming. We have driven 3 hours to meet friends and parents so she can game with them, and we are going to the MLG in ORlando and meeting six or seven boys and their parents so that she can continue to game with them.
post #16 of 35
Wow we love to use our cell after 9 pm because our minutes are free then.
post #17 of 35
Thread Starter 
Yeah, I know, she had to get credit for having used zero minutes! I purchase 1500 minutes a month and the rest of us that share only use 300 so that she can have plenty of daytime minutes. Most other parents we know want calls made before 9, to us, it is a respect issue of other families.

The problem with our children is that when we did the unschooling no bedtime trial, they ate all the food, left a huge mess, and were so loud the people with jobs couldn't sleep, so the 14yr old on down in age are supposed to go to bed when we go to bed. I guess that talking quietly on the phone should be allowed except she is not supposed to develop friendships with people we don't know and haven't met. It is to protect her from online predators, mainly.

On the phone issue, fine if you are talking to people we know, we take her to homeschool groups (2!) and provide plenty of opprotunities for her to make friends irl. She seems to gravitate to talking to strangers, boys, that she has met while online gaming, and be talking and texting into 1 and 2 am with them is not safe for our particular child. not saying that a child with better judgement couldn't, but our teenager doesn't have a feel for when she is getting into trouble. Because of this I think she needs more supervision, and guidance than for example what my older son needed while online.

My dd is not even allowed online on the computer anymore, because of the dangerous stuff she was doing online on the computer. She is blocked from all the computers. My oldest son, has four computers in his room and has never had any problems.

So, nope, this child may not talk on the phone after 9 for now. And I feel like because of the way she is I have this huge job of following her around and monitoring her activities.
post #18 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bestbirths View Post
What do gang signs mean? A sideways peace sign? then some funky other thing with the other hand, peace sign again with the pinky up too and the middle finger down? There are some new kids that visited our neighborhood this summer. I have a horrible gut feeling about them and I have tried to keep ds away from them, and ds has been sneaking out to hang out with them and getting calls at all hours of the night. Of course, since I have her phone, I am commendeering her texts. That's when I found the pics on her phone of the kids in question and herself flashing these gang signs. I told the last character who called I would track him down.
are you in the suburbs? do you know if the visiting kids are from the suburbs? if so, you are fine, its just regular teenage stuff...i do "gang signs" in pics sometimes to be silly...and as a suburban girl myself, i know that even if these kids THINK they are gangsters, they are not, they are just dumb kids.
now, if you live in a city, or these kids are from a city, you might want to be a little more concerned. "gang" culture is kind of passe now, and its filtered into more mainstream life...my guess is the gesture is nothing to worry about. the kids who is doing it, well, he may or may not be a good kid, but i doubt he is in a gang.
post #19 of 35
Thread Starter 
They are all white suburbian kids, probably not in gangs, but since i have this bad gut feeling about them and a. they were out after midnight playing hide and go seek in the neighborhood with my children without our knowledge, we were in bed, but I went to check on my children and instead of being in bed, they were all outside. b. the "new kids" lied to my face and said they weren't out after midnight when I saw them. c. one told my 6 year old to lay out in the middle of the street and let a car hit her d. recent new grafitti when they are the only recent new kids e. very clingy, at first calling our house all the time, leaving like 25 phone messages and many texts on dd's cell phone when they just met. f. coming over all the time, sometimes without permission or when I have said they couldn't come over making me have to ask them to leave. g. the dad has their every minute scheduled and they have to check in with their grandma or aunt while the dad is at work every two hours where they make sure they are where they say they are, it seemed kind of wierd to schedule your kids every second, unless the parents thought that w/o it the parent thought they would get into trouble or they had been in trouble.

Combine that with my just general bad gut feeling about them, but nothing too concrete about them other than what I mentioned.
post #20 of 35
OMG. Some of the responses in this are EYE opening.. So because we are talking about white suburban kids, that automatically means they could not POSSIBLY be in a gang? Please.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bellymama View Post
are you in the suburbs? do you know if the visiting kids are from the suburbs? if so, you are fine, its just regular teenage stuff...i do "gang signs" in pics sometimes to be silly...and as a suburban girl myself, i know that even if these kids THINK they are gangsters, they are not, they are just dumb kids.
now, if you live in a city, or these kids are from a city, you might want to be a little more concerned. "gang" culture is kind of passe now, and its filtered into more mainstream life...my guess is the gesture is nothing to worry about. the kids who is doing it, well, he may or may not be a good kid, but i doubt he is in a gang.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bestbirths View Post
They are all white suburbian kids, probably not in gangs...
The definition (in our school district and in many) of gangs:

an organized group of people involved in illegal activity. The often use symbols, clothing, etc to show their relationship to each other.

Demographics
"Gang activity is notably prevalent in the biggest cities (over 100,000 population) in the United States," according to research reported by the National Youth Gang Center. Between 1996 and 2001, more than 90 percent of the largest U.S. cities reported gang activity. However, between 1998 and 1999, the research shows an increase in gang membership by 27 percent in suburban areas and by 29 percent in rural areas. Gang membership is no longer limited to ethnic minorities in America's inner cities, but is found in all ethnic groups, economic classes, and in rural, urban, and suburban settings.

When I was in college, I knew some gang members. They were all white. There are even gangs called "hybrids" which are more common where I am from- they do not discriminate by race. Most gangs, however, are usually teens to young adults that are similar race and background.

THINK about the definition, though! If some of those kids go out together and get in a street fight with other kids (their fault or not) it is considered GANG ACTIVITY. Be smart.

A recent thing happened in my town. Some high school kids went to a party. Someone got in an argument. They got kicked out. Some came back and started a fight over it. At least one had a baseball bat. They were ALL tried for GANG activity, assault, etc. And you know what? We are talking about star basketball players, drama students, one of them was a dancer in a cultural dance group. NOT kids you would think of as being in a "gang"... They had teachers, parents, coaches... all kinds of people testify on their behalf.. no go.

Wake up and smell the coffee. IF those kids are doing graffitti.. and throwing gang signs. They are in a gang. Period. If dd is throwing gang signs too, then she is in it too.

The thing I have seen MOST often.. EVERYONE always denies gang involvement- until they see the definition.. sometimes even the "gang member" themselves for awhile..

gang membership does NOT mean people hanging out on the corner dealing drugs. It CAN mean that.. but it is SO much bigger..

30 something cars have been torched in my city in the last few weeks. A few in my own neighborhood. Sure, it COULD be random vandalism.. but I bet you when they finally charge someone it will be more than ONE person- and they will have a few buddies doing it too that dress similarly and they will be charged with vandalism, arson, and gang activity, how much do you wanna bet?

Happy reading:

http://www.schoolsecurity.org/trends...fining%20Gangs

http://www.iir.com/nygc/faq.htm#q1

http://www.safeyouth.org/scripts/facts/gangs.asp
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