Gang Awareness

Adopted May 1989 – Revised May 2016 – Reviewed and deemed relevant with editorial changes November 2020 –  Health & Community Concerns Commission

California State PTA recognizes the harmful impact of gangs on our children and youth. Gang participation is increasing at an alarming rate in California. Gangs include young people from all socio-economic levels and membership crosses gender lines.

Throughout California, gang members recruit, threaten, harass, coerce intimidate and manipulate children into joining gangs. Gangs usually lead children to adopt negative behavioral changes. Children and youth who join gangs often become involved in criminal activities.

Early intervention and education is the first and most important step in awareness of gangs and gang activities. Students, parents and educators armed with such basic knowledge are better able to prevent children from joining gangs.

PTA advocates:

  • Creating meaningful jobs for youth and places or activities that offer a positive sense of belonging;
  • Educating students, parents and educators about gangs; reasons why youth join, recognition of gang characteristics and symbols in their community, current trends and how to steer their children away from gangs;
  • Adopting and implementing school district policies designed to protect children, youth, and staff from gangs;
  • Developing community partnerships to mobilize local actions and resources to create positive alternatives to gang involvement; and
  • Partnering with local law enforcement agencies to obtain current information.
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