Dear Alan: Gangs and Violence on Campus
With all the WOW stuff flying around, I am thinking about starting a Dear Alan column because I’m getting more and more and more emails from people asking me for my take on matters that really, well… they have no “right” answers.
And so, sharing some of those questions in my blog, and lending my own perspective (while acknowledging, “Hey, this is just my viewpoint but in a world where little is black-n-white sometimes it’s nice to be able to hear about the many shades of gray) feels like something that might catch traction with me.
Anyway, all questions will remain anonymous – for about a thousand different reasons – so if you write to me, know that you can use your real name and I won’t publish it.
Can’t promise I will always post a Dear Alan as a result but hey, in this day and age, it feels like a lot of folks are looking for a place to turn and talk. And if I can even help one person through these efforts than hey, it’s worth it, right?
Anyway, here’s this week’s question:
Hi Alan, Could you please do a blog about rosaries being a sign of gang affiliations? My high school has had six police cars in the last week, added security and two lock-downs. We have a gang problem. Our high school accepted more schools of choice kids than any other district – no background checks – period. We had a rumor this week that someone was going to come in and shoot up the school. It was not substantiated. We had so many students absent on the day it was supposed to happen, it was unreal. Students were scared. Staff was scared.
In our “Emergency Staff Meeting,” I brought up the fact that many of our students are suddenly wearing rosaries and this is a gang symbol. Our administration basically told me that I was absolutely wrong and that it’s a trend. This is the same administrator who after I sent reported a student wearing a tshirt with his gang air-brushed all over it, he called him out of class and made him turn his t-shirt inside out and then sent him back to my class for two hours. It was hell. The kid was furious and was extremely disruptive. Some staff said that I never should have reported it because I could get my tires slashed…
I’m frustrated! Did you ever deal with gang issues in your classroom and was your administration helpful?
I know for a fact that rosaries are a touchy subject, but I also know that many students are strutting their gang affiliation right under our noses and not one person is doing anything about it. Any suggestions?
In short, this is a WOW question. So many things come up.
Today, I am just gonna let you “chew on it”. Tomorrow, you’ll be able to see my response. (Plus, it’ll be kinda long and already we’re at the edge of a reasonable day’s post.)
Is this how abby started? (LOL)