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.
Originally Posted by bellymama
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.
Originally Posted by Bestbirths
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.
"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?