The importance of a high school education as a minimum standard for employment has dramatically increased over the past fifty years. The high school drop out rate is essential and contributes to why there are so many young teens involved in gang related activities or end up pregnant at such a young age. The fact that most teens may not be well equipped with two strong parents that care about the consistency of their education contributes greatly to the numbers of students who consider dropping out of school a profitable option.The quickest way for most dropouts to make fast and easy money is to join gangs. Gang is defined as group of people who engage in a common ideology.
The majority of gang’s ideology carries on violence. Ultimately, youth who join gangs drop out from school and engage in street violence. Most of them end up in prison. School drop out is detrimental for society at large. Days by days we have witnessed street violence such as the record, mass first impact Hispanic channel news. Mass media have reported several cases of murder, rape, and robbery.
It suggests that many of these criminal activities are correlated with gang’s involvement. The majority of participants have being youth from 12 to 16 year old. “The presence of gangs is correlated with criminal activity and the use of self protective measures that indicate an atmosphere of perceived danger in the school environment. It is not clear, however, that gangs are a direct cause of criminal victimization at school. Belonging to gangs may be a type of self-protection employed by student in response to threatening school and community environment” (Howell, & Lynch, 2000).
Many youth have no choice on little choice when facing threat from another gang’s member since, they are present in the school environment, because youth feel no protection, it make them to join a opposite gang and eventually become part of a chain of violence. For example, personally I have witnessed a high level of violence in the High school John F. Kennedy in Paterson, New Jersey. In my own experience, I have suffered with my own family the impact of gang’s involvement, within a short period of time of enrollment in school; my nephew joined a gang for protection.This lead to judicial prosecution and he had to be relocated in another school.
In the Paterson, New Jersey schools starting on the elementary level, there need to be programs that show the sad effects of what happens to someone who decides to join a gang. One of the programs I would propose would include a film about a young man who wants to be part of a gang. The concept of an anti-gang movie is not knew; in fact, Rapper Treach of Naughty of Naughty by Nurture, who is from East Orange, actually created a movie titled “Think Twice, Little Gangster,” which was filmed partly in Paterson in 2009.Possibly, parts of this film could be used by the school system; this would save the expense of making a movie. The plot of “Think Twice, Little Gangster” involves an innocent child who is killed because he is unintentionally shot in a gang war, this could be an effective anti-gang presentation in schools. I propose setting up anti-gang programs during school hours.
In order to fund these programs, child advocator will need to talk to law- makers to persuade them to raise money for implementing these pre-emptive programs. High school dropout and gang prevention can be advertised through networking parties and prevention seminars monthly.The Internet is a very useful tool and search engine, that can be used to broadcast the message especially YouTube (which is very common among teenagers). Advocacy efforts can be implemented on many groups in the community. Paterson for example is a common community with a high level of gang activity. An Anti-gang campaign in the community can be useful in targeting middle and high school students around the community and can be used to assist in decreasing the drop out rate in schools.
Anti gang curriculum class along with after school classes and activities can put students a lot closer to graduation day.The address of this issue is very important because education is the key to a successful future. It is also fundamental to make children aware of the impact of being in a gang and the devastating affects that come from it. Dropping out of school is most common among teenagers and a lot of teens are not mentally or physically ready to go out into the world without a proper knowledge of the impact of join a gang. They are prone to a life of crime through gang related activities and association. An Anti-gang/Dropout Initiative Program is a prime example of what teens need to keep themselves busy in school and off the streets.
For example, In New Jersey the education system is experiencing many problems with student violence, especially, on the high school level. The School District of Paterson has to deal with student gangs. In these gangs criminal activity includes using and selling drugs, robbery, and street fighting and gun use. Characteristics of gangs in schools is: “had a name, a recognized leader, had their own territory or turf, marked with graffiti, committed violent acts, spent time with other members of the gang, wore clothing or other items to identify their gang membership, and had tattoos.
”( Howell, & Lynch, 2000).Resources desired are Federal and state funding which is necessary to assist in helping the Anti-gang Initiative reach to more than one community. Resources available are non-profit organizations that reach out to the community in the form of fundraisers, where people can donate to the targeted advocacy program where it can be most helpful. The constraint that may harm this program is the funding from the state and federal government because of budget cuts. This would limit the amount of money that the program would receive forcing it to look elsewhere for other supporter to help the cause.
Goals of the program:(1) Teaching children about the consequences of being in a gang, (2) Help youth to set educational goals, (3) Provide youth with confidence in drug prevention, (4) Make teacher’s aware of the impact of gangs in school How would this program be funded? Taxpayers probably cannot support these extra staff members and the filmmaking. A possible solution is to go to private companies in New Jersey. For example, in 2008, Verizon and Prudential agreed to donate money to the New Jersey Department of Education to fund a New Jersey High School Graduation Campaign.“The idea is to keep young people in school not just for their own good, but also as a pre-emptive strike against violence and gang activity” (Hu, 2008). Another prominent businessperson who has made a major contribution to education in New Jersey is Mark Zuckerberg, who gave the Newark School System 100 million dollars in 2010.
I would suggest that Paterson ask the following corporations for support for this anti-gang program: Wall Mart, McDonalds, Bank of America, Starbucks, and Apple are just a few.In order to convince all these corporations to fund the program, a presentation or a report would have to be put together to prove how gangs and dropout are causing havoc in Paterson. The information compiled in a 2010 survey, “Gangs in New Jersey: Municipal Law Enforcement Response to the 2010 NJSP Gang Survey,” would be used in the presentation. The report enumerates the gangs that exist, and the shocking number of teens involved. For example, there are 52 different gangs in Passaic County alone! Corporate leaders would be shocked and disturbed to learn these details.
Latin Kings, Bloods, Sex Money Murder, Pagans, Crips, MS 13, Neta, Fice per centers- all these, and many more, lure students to drop out school and ruin their lives. When these business leaders hear the facts, they will be persuaded to contribute to this very productive program. The only possible challenge to implementing this anti-gang, anti-dropout plan might be the school system’s resistance to try something new. School administrators and teachers have to be convinced to make time in the teaching schedule for this program.I would suggest that this program be introduced in elementary school once a week, one hour of instruction, for the entire school year.
I am aware that teachers are constrained by time and have to fit a lot into their limited schedule, but we have to convince them that the program is essential. The positivism of student staying in school is that they can earn a high school diploma, and be able to go to college and have a better future. Comparing with the student who dropped out the school is that not much opportunity will be offer for him. He cannot have a high school diploma, or go to college.