Opinion & Editorial

A ‘gang’ by any other name?

Dear Editor,

I am writing in regards to the article in the Jan. 9 edition of The Chronicle entitled “Four juveniles face mischief charges.”
My concerns are not with the article or its writing but the details provided by the school.
Over time, everyone has pretty much accepted that in dealing with any problem you have to first recognize it and accept it.
The deputy clearly describes gang activity by a group of juveniles that has a ringleader. The school on the other hand describes disciplining some students for “attempting to become a group.”
Perhaps in a larger city or district, this may be considered a “group” but to everyone else, bandanas and a ringleader describe a “gang.”
Even in the somewhat secretive school systems it does no one good to not be honest and forthright in such situations that can have such a long-term and widespread impact on the students and community.
If history is an indicator, and it usually is, by the time you see the bandanas and have a ringleader, you already have gang activity.
Calling a “gang” a “group” or a “hit list” “graffiti” doesn’t solve anything and assuredly does nothing to recognize the problem, thus potentially putting the students and community at risk.

Whyat S. Ocumpaugh



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