What Can I Do?


Parents, Families, Concerned Adults

  • Be actively involved in your children’s school life — attend school functions, keep in contact with teachers, find out about and use school support services (such as guidance counselors, social workers, school resource officers).
  • Know where your children are at all times and schedule activities to occupy their free time.
  • Do everything possible to involve children in supervised, positive activities, particularly while you are at work — school clubs, extracurricular activities, after-school academic or cultural enrichment programs.
  • Make sure you have a plan to communicate and touch base with your child when you are at work and a backup contact if you are unavailable.
  • Plan family activities — as simple as a meal together, a walk in the neighborhood, a trip to the community center — and insist that your child participate.
  • Praise your children for doing well and encourage them to do their best.
  • Teach children to set positive goals, to hold high standards and to prepare for a positive future.
  • Get to know your children’s friends and their parents.
  • Set limits for your children and enforce them.
  • Do not allow your children to dress in gang-style clothing, to practice gang hand signs or write gang graffiti on any surface, including their bodies.
  • Explain to your child that a very small percentage of youth join gangs.
  • Make sure your children understand that you are against gangs. Communicate openly with them about gangs. Read them articles and discuss the consequences of being part of a gang.
  • Be a positive role model.

Communities

  • Employ local youth in neighborhood businesses to help them develop a sense of pride and responsibility toward their community.
  • Work with schools to develop special training and apprenticeship programs that teach occupations skills.
  • Support community youth programs.
  • Join and support school-community coalitions.
  • Participate in mentoring programs or other activities where community members can serve as positive role models.
  • Promote community recreation and teen centers where youth can meet and socialize in a supervised environment.
  • Sponsor and support programs that teach parenting skills.

Schools

  • Identify at-risk students and students who are already gang members.
  • Encourage students to participate in sports, drama, music, art and other positive activities that will increase their confidence and sense of belonging.
  • Photograph and remove all graffiti from school grounds and property.
  • Work with parents, counselors and other school personnel to determine when intervention is necessary.
  • Ensure that gang awareness and drug prevention are part of the curricula and present these programs to parents.
  • Promote after-school programs that address prevention of violence.

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